Legislation 2024

Hundreds of bills are introduced in Springfield every session. Here's some of the bills that we'll be supporting or following closely during the spring 2024 session of the 103nd IL General Assembly

Bills we support

Clean Air for Healthy Equitable Schools - HB 3713 [Fact Sheet] Initiative of Illinois Stakeholders for Air Quality in Schools. It includes not just ventilation verification assessments but the distribution of high-quality HEPA filters and air quality monitors to immediately improve air quality for all children, teachers, and staff in IL public schools.

Child Tax Credit -  HB 4917/SB 3329, [Fact SheetIllinois has long had one of the most regressive state tax systems in the country, in part because the Illinois constitution bars the state from levying a graduated income tax, and so Illinois does not have the ability to raise income tax rates for the people who can afford to pay the most. Until the constitution is amended, advocacy orgs from around the state, including IL Families for Public Schools, are partnering with the Cost of Living Refund Coalition to ameliorate the effects of IL’s regressive tax policies with tax credits for lower-income brackets. This session the coalition is again supporting a child tax credit; eligible low- and middle-income Illinois families would receive a $300 tax credit for each child under the age of 17. This would benefit half of Illinois households with children. ("Capitol Briefs: Tax credits for children, manufacturers among new legislative proposals")

School Late Start Grant - HB4273 Creates a grant program to help school districts offset the additional costs of implementing late start (8am or later) school days in grades 6-12. ("Hit the snooze button: States debate later high school start times")

Workplace Readiness EducationHB 4417 Requires providing public high school students with information on laws pertaining to worker rights (e.g. unemployment insurance, leaves of absence, right to organize, etc). Establishes Workplace Readiness Week in public high schools.

Charter School Approval 3-year Limit - HB 4840 This bill would limit the length of time that a charter school approval would last to no more than three school years for both initial approvals and renewals. Currently initial approvals may last for five years and renewals can be up to ten years. It would also ensure that a moratorium on school actions in Chicago Public Schools would not prevent the non-renewal of a charter school.

Healthy School Meals for All Program Funding - HB 4785 In spring 2023, Illinois passed the 'Healthy School Meals for All' bill which provides free breakfast and lunches to all students who want it, but the legislation did not receive any funding. This bill appropriates $209M from the General Revenue Fund to the State Board of Education for fund the costs of that legislation. ("Illinois rallies for budget appropriation to enable healthy school meals for all")

Limits on State Testing - HB 4955 This bill would prevent future proposals to expand state tests beyond what the federal government requires for grades K-6 and encourages the Illinois State Board of Ed to pursue any flexibility in federal assessment requirements.

Bills we oppose

Police in CPS Schools - HB 5008 [Fact Sheet, Q&A about legal implications] This bill would allow local school councils to contract with the Chicago Police Department to have police officers (aka school resource officers, SROs) on school grounds, overruling the Chicago Board of Education's decision to end the SRO program in CPS. The language of HB 5008 does not place any restrictions or regulations on such contracts (e.g. number of officers, training of officers). We strongly oppose this bill. Law-enforcement agents do not belong in schools. Stationing police officers in schools harms the safety, security and the educational experience of students, in particular Black and Latinx students, low-income students, students with disabilities and LGBTQ+ students. And, data collected on students by police in schools is not protected by federal & state student privacy law. See this review of the extensive research from Chicago and elsewhere showing the negative impact of police in schools.

Moratorium on Changes to Selective CPS SchoolsHB 303 [Fact Sheet] This bill would prohibit the Chicago Board of Education from making any budgetary or admissions changes to any schools with selective admissions requirements until the fully elected board is seated. It is highly problematic because it doesn't clearly define which schools the law would apply to, and it prevents a shift to position-based, need-based equitable budgeting. In addition, it makes no reference to existing statutes regulating school actions in CPS and the facilities master planning process, which ILGA developed with the input of Chicago school communities over many years. [Note this bill was introduced as HB 5766 and passed out of committee as HB 303.]

Redefine Temporary and Permanent Student Records - SB 3166/HB 5275 This bill would amend the Illinois School Student Records Act to require large amounts of highly sensitive information to be retained as part of a student's record for 60 years rather than 5 years. This is highly problematic from a data privacy perspective; in its current form, we strongly oppose this bill. (Note: we do expect this bill to be amended and its scope drastically reduced. We'll be keeping a close eye on it.)

Bills we're following

[PASSED] Elected School Board Districts and Elections -  SB15 This bill created a map of districts and an election calendar for electing 10 seats in November 2024, 21 seats in November 2026 and a portion of the 21 seats every two years going forward. The map boundaries can be viewed here.  

Voucher programs - While the General Assembly did not take any action before the end of 2023 to extend the Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship voucher program, bills to extend the program continue to be introduced. We're monitoring for any of these bills moving although we do not think that's likely. There could also be trailer legislation introduced to allow scholarship granting organizations to spend remaining funds donated to them as well.  

 Looking for our past legislative agendas? 2023 - 103rd GA2022 - 102nd GA2021 - 102nd GA2020 - 101st GA; 2019 - 101st GA; 2018 - 100th GA