Legislation

Senate Bill 851, House Amendment #1
includes provisions for an immediate property tax freeze

The bill will be heard on November 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm
in the House Revenue Committee

 

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Recently Passed Legislation  – 2016 – 2018

Recently passed bills  — 2017 – 18

The following bills have been signed by the Governor and can be viewed in full language on the State’s legislative web page:   www.ilga.gov.

 

School Funding Reform – Evidence Based Model  –  The bill (Senate Bill 1947, Public Act #100-0465) was signed by the Governor on August 31, 2017.  The Illinois State Board of Education will be posting the final database of all elements for school districts on their web site in a “few months”.  For final language of the bill, please visit www.ilga.gov.

Early Childhood Expulsion Prohibited  –  Early Childhood programs receiving state funds are prohibited from expelling students.  When serious behaviors are shown by a student, documentation must be kept on the steps taken to allow the child to participate safely.  This must include observations, strategies for remediation, and intervention and communication with parent.  The district must document its attempts to engage community resources, including behavior problems, child mental health consultants and the child’s health care provider. If transition to another program is necessary, parent or legal guardian permission and a transition plan between both programs are required.  Schools may temporarily remove students in case of serious safety threat to the child or others.  Starting July 1, 2018, EC programs must report data on student populations which include the number of planned transitions, and temporary removals for safety.  Public Act #100-0105,  Effective date: January 1, 2018.

Anti-Bullying Policy  –  School districts, including charter schools and private schools, must post their anti-bullying policy on the school district’s web site and in student handbooks and provide the policy throughout the year “periodically” to students and faculty.  The Act does not define “periodically”.  Parents, students and school personnel must be informed as to which staff members are able to help with a bully or to receive a report on bullying.  Public Act #100-0137, Effective date: August 18, 2017.

Immigration  –  The Illinois TRUST Act prohibits State and local law enforcement agencies from stopping, arresting, detaining, or searching an individual solely on the basis of their immigration status, unless the agency is presented with a warrant from  a federal judge.   Law enforcement agencies will be required to train their officers on compliance with the TRUST Act starting in January of 2018.  Public Act #100-0463, Effective date: August 28, 2017

Chronic Absenteeism   –  All school districts, alternative schools, charter schools, and any other school receiving public funds must collect and review data on chronic absences and determine systems of support and resources needed to encourage daily attendance.  Chronic absenteeism is defined as 10% or more of school days of the most recent academic year including absences with or without valid cause and out of school suspensions.  Data is to be taken from each attendance center.  Public Act #100-0156, effective date: January 1, 2018

Average Daily Attendance for GSARequires school districts to include the average daily attendance figures for each month  for each grade level when submitting figures for General State Aid.   Public Act #100-0147, Effective Date: January 1, 2018.

Report Card Attendance  –  ISBE is required to include on the school district report card the average daily attendance of students subject to compulsory attendance.  Also collected will be the average daily attendance of students who have an IEP or a 504 plan.
Public Act #300-0448. Effective date: July 1, 2019.

Students Transcripts School districts will no longer be required to show state assessment scores that include college or career readiness on student transcripts or permanent records.  Public Act #100-0222, Effective date:  August 18, 2017.

Student Online Privacy  –  The Student Online Personal Protection Act prohibits using student data gathered on websites and applications used for K-12 educational purposes.  Data cannot be used for targeted advertising, building a profile about a student or selling or renting any student’s information.  Operators are required to protect student data through security procedures and by deleting any student date when requested by the school district.  Public Act #100-0315, Effective date:  August 24, 2017.

Student AP Programs  –  Creates an accelerated placement program for students to be placed in classes normally reserved for older students or those in higher grades, including early entrance into Kindergarten or first grade.  School districts must develop a policy for accelerated placement programs that address student eligibility and parental participation.  Rules to be adopted  by ISBE regarding data collection and how to make information available to the public.  Public Act #100-0421, Effective date:  July 1, 2018.

College Entrance Exams  –  Requires that State administered college entrance exams (SAT) must be administered on a school day during regular student attendance times.
Public Act  #100-0007, Effective date: July 1, 2017.

Child Abuse Hotline/DCFSDCFS is now authorized to work with Public Schools, charter schools and CPS to distribute and display in school buildings appropriate materials regarding the child abuse hotline.  This includes how to make a report.
Public Act #100-0413, Effective Date: January 1, 2018.

Home/Hospital InstructionPhysician assistants and advanced practice nurses will now be able to certify that a student is medically unable to attend the regular classroom for instruction and is eligible for home or hospital instruction.
Public Act #100-0443, Effective date: August 25, 2017.

Concussions Amends the School Code to include physician assistants and advanced practice nurses among those who can evaluate students believed to have sustained a concussion during athletic competitions. Allows one person without a licensed health care professional to participate in concussion oversight teams as long as they are not a coach.  Requires the oversight team to receive concussion-related training periodically.
Public Act #100-0309,  Effective: September 1, 2017

AsthmaAsthma is now included in the standard school health exam.  The Dept of Public Health is required to create rules and regs., including collection of information related to asthma.    Public Act #100-0238, Effective January 1, 2018

Breastfeeding –  School Districts must provide any lactating student with reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk and the opportunity to make up any missed work in doing so.  Defined as reasonable includes: access to private and secure room which is not a restroom, permission to bring a breast pump to school, access to a power source and access to a place to store the milk safely.  Existing facilities may be used.
Public Act #100-0029, Effective January 1, 2018.

Feminine Hygiene Supplies  –  School districts, including charters, must have feminine hygiene products available in the bathrooms of any school building serving students in grades 6 through 12.  Public Act #100-0163, Effective January 1, 2018.

Transgender Birth Certificate ChangesAmends the Vital Records Act to give transgender and intersex persons the right to obtain a new birth certificate reflecting their gender identity.  The transgender person must submit a declaration from a licensed health care professional or licensed mental health professional stating that he or she has an intersex condition or has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition.
Public Act #100-0360, Effective January 1, 2018

Homeless Financial Assistance  –  Allows school districts to use transportation funds to provide financial assistance when a child is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.   Assistance may be provided in the form of rental or mortgage assistance or help with paying bills, loans and other debts  School districts must first provide assistance through a homeless assistance agency operating under the federal Mckinney-Vento Homeless  Assistance Act prior to any financial assistance.  The school and parents or guardians must develop a housing plan in writing.
Public Act # 100-0332, Effective date: August 4, 2017.

School Bus Permit  –  Requires school buses operated by public or private schools  and used to transport students for school related extra-curricular activities must comply with the school bus driver permit requirements (valid school bus driver permit or be supervised by a person who has held such permit for at least one year), hold the minimum liability insurance (2,000,000) and all other requirements.  Meeting these requirements will allow school buses to transport non-student passengers for non-school related events.   Public Act. #100-0241,  Effective, January 1, 2018.

School Boundaries  –  Provides greater flexibility and efficiency in the detachment and dissolution of school districts.  In Cook County a local hearing panel will hear petitions filed on property in Cook County that is not under the authority of Township School Trustees. Evidentiary standards will remain the same.  Public Act #100-0374, Effective date: August 25, 2017.

Special Education Due ProcessWhen mediation is proposed but not approved by one of the parties, the parents challenging their student’s placement now have 10 days after the refusal to file a request for a due process hearing in order to invoke the “stay put” rule for the student to keep his or her current placement.  Also requires the State Superintendent to revise the notice of procedural safeguards every two years to reflect any changes to the law and procedures.
Public Act # 100-0122, Effective date: August 18, 2017.

 

School Social Worker Qualifications  –  Gives school boards the authority to employ school social workers who have graduated with a master’s degree or higher from an accredited graduate school, hold a Professional Education License with a support personnel endorsement for social work under Section 21B-25 of the School Code, or have other qualifications as required by ISBE.  Only such employees with those qualifications can be called a “social workers”.  Social Workers can provide individual  and group services to students as well as administrators and teachers.  Allows that a school board may employ as many social workers as necessary and notes the national recommendation is 250 students per school social worker.  Social workers may not provide services outside their employment to students in their districts.
Public Act #100-0356, Effective date: August 25, 2017.

PTAB Taxpayers can file an appeal directly with the Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) if a decision to lower an assessment is issued after the deadline for filing appeals has passed.  The legislation allows taxpayers to combine multiple-year appeals, within the same assessment period, instead of appealing separately every year.  Public Act #100-0216, Effective date: August 18, 2017. 

 

 Legislation Passed 2016  -2017

Travel Expenses:  Local governments, including school districts, will be required to pass a policy that sets rules for travel expenses for school board members, administrators, and other public officials from local governments.  Failure to adopt such a policy will prohibit approval of any travel expenses until such policy is approved.  Public Act # 99-604, Effective January 1, 2017

Behavior at Traffic Stop:  Driver’s education classes will now include proper behavior when stopped by a police officer at a traffic stop.  Public Act # 99-720, Effective January 1, 2017

School ResidencyA determination that a student is not a resident of a school district must include the specific reason in writing to the person who enrolled the student.  The law also requires the school district and parents to exchange evidence and testimony at least 3 days prior to a residence hearing and does not obligate the parents of guardians to pay tuition until the final determination is made that the student is a non-resident.  Public Act #99-670, Effective January 1, 2017

Charter SchoolProvides that a charter shall be granted for a period of five school years and may be renewed in incremental periods not to exceed ten school years.  Public Act # 99-0840, Effective January 1, 2017

Separate Standards: The Illinois State Board of Education is prohibited from having separate performance standards fro students based on race or ethnicity.  Public Act # 99-0084, Effective January 1, 2016

Civics Education:  Students will have at least one semester of civics education added to the two-year social Studies requirement.  This moves the effective date to July 1, 2016 instead of November 20, 2015 to allow a phase-in for High School students.  Public Act 99-0485, Effective July 1, 2016

Student Social Media:  Modifies the Right to Privacy in School Setting Act to prohibit an elementary or secondary school from requiring that students provide passwords to social media network website.  Schools may conduct an investigation or require students to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity violating a school policy or rule.  Public Act # 99-0460, Effective August 25, 2015

Heroin Crisis Act: Calls for dispensing opioid antagonists in school, allows administration by school nurse or trained personnel.  Requires ISBE to establish a three-year heroin and opioid drug abuse prevention program.  Public Act # 99-0480, Effective September 9, 2015

Student DisciplineChanges how schools can discipline students.  Requires written reasons for expulsion or suspension and requires schools to take all measures for in-school discipline before suspension or expulsion.  Prohibits zero tolerance and limits out of school suspension to three days.  Other provisions may be viewed on www.ilga.govThis is Senate Bill 1.   Public Act # 99-0456, Effective September 15, 2016.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: Specifically allows students to self-administer an Epi-Pen while being transported on a school bus and allows that a supply of Epi-pens may be made accessible before, during and after school.  Modifications were made to the required training for the     Epi-Pen is  to cover anaphylaxis and a review of high-risk areas in the school and related facilities to prevent exposure to allergens.  This is known as the Annie Le Gere Law.  Public Act # 99-711, Effective January 1, 2017

Student Journalist RightsStudent journalists have the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in school sponsored media.  School districts are prohibited from restraining material for official school publications, with the exceptions of violating school policy, libel, slander, obscenity, invasion of privacy, violation of law, or speech that incites students to commit unlawful actions.  The law removes criminal liability for school districts for any expression made or published by the students.  Public Act #99-678, Effective July 29, 2016

Reporting Concussions:  Starting with the 2016 – 2017 year, any organization providing interscholastic athletics or competition for high schools must have certified trainers fill out a monthly report with details on students who sustained a concussion during a school-sponsored event.  Starting in 2017 – 2018 all programs are required to create an annual report with details from the previous year on concussions and submit a copy to the General Assembly.  Public Act #99-831, Effective on August 19, 2016

Excuse from School to play TapsPublic School students in grades 6 through 12 may be excused from classes for the purpose of sounding “Taps” at a military honors funeral.  Notification must be made to the school at least two days before the absence and include the date, time, and location of the funeral, unless the student did not receive advance notice.
Public Act # 99-804, Effective January 1, 2017

Closed Session Topics The Open Meetings Act now allows public bodies to hold closed session meetings for the purpose of discussing matters protected under the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act or, HIPPA.  Public Act # 99-687, Effective January 1, 2017

Access to Closed Session Recordings:   School board members are allowed to access closed session recordings and minutes in the main office, or official storage location and in the presence of a records secretary, an administrative official, or any elected official of the public body.  Board members are prohibited from recording or removing the recordings or minutes from the public body’s main office or official storage location, except by the vote of the pubic  body or by a court order.  Public Act # 99-515, Effective June 30, 2016

Open Meeting Act Violation LawsuitA civil action based on noncompliance with the Open Meetings Act may now be brought within 60 days of a decision by the Attorney General to resolve a request for review through means other than a binding opinion.  Public Act. #99-714, Effective August 5, 2016

Defining Dyslexia The new definition of Dyslexia was adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education and includes: a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by trouble with accurate or fluent word recognition; poor spelling and decoding abilities;  difficulties with phonics and language; problems with reading comprehension and other similar difficulties.  The new definition replaces the requirement that ISBE adopt rules to incorporate the international definition of dyslexia.  Public Act #99-706, Effective July 29, 2016

Zoning Compliance for Schools:   School Districts must comply with local zoning ordinances, however the municipality or other local government must streamline the zoning application process and minimize administrative burdens, including fees and other costs while expediting the review process to 90 days.  Public Act # 99-0890, Effective August 25, 2016

Homestead Exemptions notice:  Requires residential property owners in Cook County to notify the assessment officer by April 1st if they are no longer living in the residence and no longer qualify for a  homestead exemption, to avoid fines.  Public Act #99-0851, Effective August 19, 2016

Board of Review Notice by EmailSchool districts outside of Cook County may receive electronic notice of Board of Review cases which intend to change an assessment of $100,000 or more.  The school district must consent to the electronic notice and provide a valid e-mail address.  Public Act #99-626, Effective July 22, 2016

PTAB Notice by Email The Property Tax Code has been changed to allow PTAB to use email to deliver copies of a petition to the Board of Review and to deliver the decision on the case.  Public Act # 99-626, Effective July 22, 201

 

For more information and full language of the bill, please visit: www.ilga.gov

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