[Spring 2018] Hundreds of bills are introduced in Springfield every session. Here's the bills we're tracking the most closely during the current session of the 100th IL General Assembly.
- HB5481: Class Size Goals Requires districts to report data on class sizes to ISBE as well as sets targets for class sizes for K-12 classrooms. Read more here. Mobile-friendly version here. [Update 5.24: Passed both chambers.]
- HB5721: Facilities and School Actions CPS continues to make decisions about opening and closing schools without adhering to a long-term facilities plan or engaging with communities. This bill requires public input and more transparency for capital spending. It reduces the need for school actions through increased supports for under enrolled schools. And it provides additional assistance to students and school communities subjected to school actions. Read our HB5721 fact sheet here. Mobile-friendly version here.
- HB1295: Student Data Transparency As computer usage and data collection increases in public ed, parents have the right to know who is collecting, storing and sharing what data on their children; this bill would require public disclosure of this information and would establish procedures for how parents could examine, correct and request for such data to be deleted. Read a one-pager about this bill here and a backgrounder from Raise Your Hand about why we need better student data privacy protections in IL here.
- SB3592: Elected School Board Last spring, an elected school board bill, HB1774 passed both chambers with overwhelming majorities, but was blocked from being sent to the Governor's desk by the Senate and House leadership. This new bill is intended to resolve those issues. More here. Mobile-friendly version here.
- SB454-HFA3: Enhancing Parent Participation in CPS Special Education. Introduced in response to the ISBE Public Inquiry and remedies for CPS's violation of federal special education law, this bill goes beyond ISBE's corrective actions to provide additional support and transparency and accountability for families seeking a free, appropriate public education for their children with disabilities. Read the details of the bill and a list of organizational supporters here.
Other bills we support
- HB4208: Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Intended to mitigate factors, like suspensions, expulsions and in-school arrests, leading to the school-to-prison pipeline via targeted matching grants. More here. Mobile friendly version here.
- SB2236: Limits any allocation to the tax credit scholarship program until after the minimum statutory funding level is achieved for districts. Read more here. Mobile-friendly version here.
- SB2468: Requires that if a student’s IEP team determines a student does not need an assistive device they must notify parents of the decision and the basis for the decision.
- SB3514: Special education staffing. This bill would require CPS to fund special ed positions from the board level and gets rid of commingling of funds. It bases funding on IEP minutes.
- HB4657: Requires professional development for teachers to recognize signs of mental health issues in students. The school code now only requires this for grades 7 and up.
Bills we oppose
- SB3183: LSC Disempowerment/Principal Evaluation Seeks to reduce the current authority LSCs have to not renew a principal’s four year contract with the school, thereby diminishing the single most important power LSCs have in shaping the direction of their schools. Local School Councils are currently the only democratically-elected bodies of governance within CPS. The strongest power they are afforded is discretion in selecting a principal and renewing their contract. Reducing that power effectively waters down an LSC’s ability to enact change. Read more here. Mobile-friendly version here.
- SB3099: Allows sale of student data after obtaining written consent from the student or parent/guardian of the student in some cases as well as allowing for more cases of use of data outside of research. More here.
- HB4227: Expands the schools eligible for grants under the tax credit program to schools not currently under “recognized” status from ISBE.
- HB4563: Expands tax credits to include donations to school foundations and reduces funding from the evidence based funding model by the same amount.
- HB4376: Allows the use of BrightStart 529 funds for use for K-12 schools.
- SB2855: Would prohibit IL State Board of Education from establishing class sizes for special ed unless full funding were provided to cover costs of class size limitations. Would end any existing rules and regulations of class sizes for special ed.
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.