Hundreds of bills are introduced in Springfield every session. Here's the bills we're following the most closely during the spring 2020 session of the 101st IL General Assembly, including our own initiative, SB3717. Bills are marked with their Public Act number if they've been signed into law.
SB3717/HB5131 Right to Play Every Day [Fact Sheet] Provides all students in public schools grades kindergarten through eighth 60 minutes of unstructured, screen-free play time every day. Time can be subdivided into breaks at least fifteen minutes long. Schools are encouraged to hold this time outdoors, but may hold it indoors. This bill is an initiative of IL Families for Public Schools. More info about the bill and how to support it on this page.
SB3717 has the support of Access Living, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Chicago Teachers Union, Defending the Early Years, Free Forest School, Illinois Optometric Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Legal Council for Health Justice, National Association of Social Workers - IL Chapter, Northern Illinois Nature Preschool Association, Parents 4 Teachers and the Sierra Club - IL Chapter.
- HB2267 Elected School Board for Chicago Chicago is the only school district in the state with a mayoral appointed school board. This bill would give CPS an elected board via an election in 2023 with members from 20 districts and one at-large president.
- SB453 Promoting Inclusive Local School Councils [Fact Sheet] Reduces barriers for civically engaged parents and community leaders to serve as Local School Council (LSC) members in CPS. Allows CPS to amend the LSC candidate eligibility to that of parent and community members classified as Level II volunteers while ensuring that LSC candidates are screened against the Sex Offender and Violent Offender Against Youth Databases.
- HB256 No Videotaping for Student Teacher Licensure [Fact Sheet] Prohibits any requirement of videotaping of student teachers or their students in order for the student teacher to receive their license. Currently, ISBE requires student teachers to pass the edTPA an assessment for which video is uploaded and sent to Pearson, Inc. for evaluation. You can read more about the problems with the edTPA including the video component here.
- HB334/SB188 LSCs for all Establishes elected Local School Councils for Chicago charter schools and other district-run CPS schools that currently have appointed LSCs ("ALSCs"). It also adds an appointed student member to LSCs that serve students in 7th and 8th grade but don't currently have a student member, and creates new support for LSC certification training.
- HB4064 Test Optional Admissions for Public Universities Makes it optional for applications to submit a standardized test score to gain admission to any Illinois public institution of higher education. (For more information about the key role in test-optional admissions for resisting the misuse and overuse of standardized testing, see Fair Test's extensive list of resources.)
- HB3975/SB2315 Seclusion Prohibited Prohibits schools from placing students in isolation rooms. This legislation was addressed in response to an investigation by ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune of how students across the state were being tragically harmed by the use of seclusion. More about this legislation here.
HB5012/SB3788 Healthy Youth [Fact Sheet] ensures that sexual health education in Illinois is inclusive and affirming of communities who historically have been stigmatized or excluded including LGBTQIA and pregnant or parenting youth. More info from the coalition supporting the bill here.
Public Acts passed in 101st General Assembly
- PA 101-0516 (HB3606/SB2089) Student Data Protection [Fact Sheet] Parents have a right to know and a right to control how their child’s personal data is being used by schools, companies and government agencies. Read more about why we need better student data protection legislation here. The law will go into effect July 2021.
- PA 101-0451 (HB254): Class Size Goals [Fact Sheet] Requires districts to report detailed data on individual class sizes to ISBE as well as how many classes meet the class size recommendations used in the state funding formula. Reporting begins fall of 2020.
- PA 101-0543 (SB1226 /HB2100) Abolish State Charter Commission. Transfer powers to ISBE. Replace appeal process for charters with judicial review. The unelected State Charter Commission allows for the operation of charters schools over the wishes of local school boards. The Commission can override local decisions and approve charter schools that a local school board has rejected. Schools that are approved by the Commission get increased funding over local district amounts, and this comes from the local district's budget even though they have no say on how the charter school is run.
Special Education and Nursing
- PA 101-0507 (HB3302) [Fact sheet] Extend statute of limitations on filing complaints on inquiry-related loss of services. Parents have two years after the creation of a state compensatory education plan to file a complaint about delay or denial of special ed services by CPS during 2016-2018
- PA 101-0515 (HB3586) [Fact sheet]Transparency on special education policies and services. Parents have three days to review documentation before an IEP meeting. CPS must post any special ed policy changes publicly 45 days before adoption.
- PA 101-0050 (HB1475) Seizure Smart School. Many students at CPS (and other districts) have no one in the school trained on their child’s emergency medication for seizures. This bill allows willing staff to be trained.
- PA 101-0428 (HB822) Undesignated Glucagon. Glucagon is an emergency life-saving medication for students with Type1 diabetes. This bill allows doctors to prescribe the medicine to schools so they can keep a supply in the office. It also also allows willing staff to administer in the event a nurse is not available.