Both legislative chambers were in session this week, a deadline week for the Senate to move substantive bills out of committee. Despite that deadline, an end to the budget impasse is not in sight.

Following are the results of committee hearings on some bills of interest to IEA members:

Committee Action

Senate Executive Committee

SB 2063 (Radogno, R-Lemont) The Unbalanced Budget Response Act, which would give the governor broad authority to cut spending in numerous agencies, was rejected by the committee. Although the bill would allow for broad cuts in a number of areas, it would have spared elementary and secondary education funds as well as money set aside for debt payments and for the state’s road fund.

Senate Education Committee

SB 863 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood) provides that, for State Board of Education appointments made after the effective date of the Amendatory Act, three of the members of the State Board must represent the educator community. IEA supported this bill, which passed the Senate Education Committee 9-2.

Senate Higher Education Committee

SB 440 (McGuire, D-Joliet) increases membership on the Illinois Board of Higher Education from 16 to 18 and requires board membership to include 2 full-time faculty members selected by the recognized advisory council of IBHE. IEA supported this legislation, which passed out of the Senate Higher Education Committee on a 7-3 vote.

House Higher Education Committee

HB 3447 (Welch, D-Chicago) creates the Tuition Reduction Act. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, the Act requires each Illinois public university to reimburse its full-time resident undergraduate students a portion of the tuition charged, in the form of a grant applied directly to a student’s financial aid account. IEA supported this legislation and it passed out of the House Higher Education Committee by a vote of 15-4.

Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee

HB 826 (Lilly, D-Chicago) is a permissive bill which outlines the number of social workers a district may employ in order to maintain nationally recommended staffing levels. The legislation also set forth qualifications for school social worker responsibilities. The IEA had concerns regarding these qualifications but dropped opposition after the bill was amended. The amended bill passed out of committee and now resides on the House floor.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan

On Wednesday, the State Board of Education (ISBE) unanimously approved the state’s ESSA plan which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education during the first submission window on April 3. The plan articulates a new accountability system for the state and addresses how the accountability system will be used to identify schools for support. Both academic and school success/school quality indicators will make up the new school accountability system.  Review the new plan. More information about the new accountability system and the state plan will be included in the next IEA Legislative Update.

Important Dates

  • March 31 – Bills out of Committee (House)
  • April 28 – 3rd Reading deadline (both chambers)
  • May 12 – Deadline for House bills to get out of Senate Committee
  • May 19 – Deadline for Senate bills to get out of House Committee
  • May 26 – Final 3rd Reading deadline (both chambers)
  • May 31 – Adjournment

A schedule for each chamber can be found on the General Assembly website.

Next Week:

The House will be in session next week, beginning Tuesday, March 21 and the Senate will be in session, starting Tuesday, March 28. To be connected to the latest information, “like” IEA on Facebook, follow IEANEA on Twitter and bookmark the IEA website.