Legislative wins

The General Assembly recently concluded the spring legislative session in the early hours of Sat., May 27. The IEA’s Government Relations Team worked diligently to advocate and protect public education at all levels. Below is a comprehensive list of legislative issues and priorities that the IEA engaged with during this past session. 

If you would like to know where our IEA initiatives are in the legislative process, or other education-related legislation, go to the 2023 Legislative Session. 

Legislative wins – IEA initiatives:

  • HB 2147 (Yang Rohr/Villivalam) TRS credit for student teachers​ – allows TRS members that were paid as a student teacher to purchase that service credit.
  • HB 2392 (Scherer/Lightford) National Education Association Director advocacy days​ — provides up to 10 days in any school year for our NEA Directors to represent the association in federal advocacy work.
  • SB 1235 (Martwick/Kifowit) State Universities Retirement System recalculation​ – ensures that our SURS members will receive full pension credits for their years of service as an educator that participates in SURS.
  • SB 1351 (Lightford/Scherer) Waiver of final year evaluation — a teacher set to retire in their last year can waive their evaluation if the previous overall evaluation was proficient or excellent.
  • SB 1352 (Lightford/Carroll) Teacher resignation timeline — the timeline to submit a resignation during the school term must be concurred by the board.  If the resignation is after the school term, the resignation letter must be submitted 30 days prior to the first student attendance day.  This legislation also sets the timeframe for when a district must notify the teacher of submitting their license to the state superintendent as well as when the state superintendent must notify the teacher once a decision has been made.
  • SB 1468 (Bennett/Stuart) 120 return to work TRS provision​ – Until 2026, retired teachers are allowed to return to the classroom for up to 120 days without impairing their TRS annuity.
  • SB 1872 (Lightford/Vella) Reduces tenure track from four years to three​ — Teachers hired on or after July 1, can attain tenure in three years with an overall evaluation of proficient in their second and third years. They can attain tenure in two years with two years of overall excellent on their evaluations.
  • SB 2017 (Holmes/Croke) Education Support Professionals paid holidays​ — ensures ESPs receive school holidays off without a deduction in pay or time.
  • HB 3817 (the budget implementation bill) contained an agreement to stabilize the College Insurance Program. The proposal will return CIP to fiscal stability over the next 10 years. This program provides retiree health insurance to former full-time community college staff and faculty. The agreement requires increased state, member and community college contributions to fund the program. Members and colleges will pay the following percentages of salary/payroll: fiscal year 2024: 0.75%, fiscal year 2025: 0.85%, fiscal year 2026: 0.95%. Fiscal year 2027 and beyond will be limited to an increase of no more than 105% from the previous year. The agreement will create a CIP Advisory Taskforce to monitor the program.

Other bills of interest

  • HB 300 (Stuart/Belt) Indexing of minimum teacher salary​ – negotiated bill that clarifies how the minimum teacher salary will be indexed each year after the 2023-24 school year.
  • HB 1297 (Elik/Harriss) Purchasing of parochial service credit for Teachers’ Retirement System members​ – allows TRS members to purchase up to two years of private or parochial school service credit until 2028.
  • HB 2396 (Canty/Lightford) requires all school districts to provide full-day kindergarten beginning in the 2027-28 school year and allows school districts unable to comply to seek an implementation extension from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
  • HB 2789 (Stava-Murray/Murphy) establishes a policy of the state to protect the freedom of libraries to be protected against attempts to ban or restrict access to books or other materials.
  • HB 3680 (Benton/Faraci) in compliance with Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, allows students with Individualized Education Plans to have accommodations for crisis drills. Requires the administrator and school support personnel to include the student’s IEP or 504 plan team in determining the accommodations for the student.
  • HB 3690 (Mussman/Villivalam) makes numerous changes to in-service training requirements for teachers, support staff and administrators. The bill is a result of a collaboration of all public education stakeholders’ recognition of the ever-growing time commitment for school staff to comply with in-service training requirements.
  • SB 90 (Murphy/West) requires school districts to implement a policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on race, color​ and national origin. The policy must be posted; the district must establish procedures for responding to complaints; and must report data on reported allegations to ISBE yearly.
  • SB 1488 (Bennett/Stuart) Teacher candidate evaluation — Creates Teacher Performance Assessment Task Force to evaluate potential performance based and objective teacher performance assessment systems for educator preparation programs statewide. The intention of the task force is to create a well-rounded and thoughtful licensure system that is consistent throughout the state. Members appointed to the task force must represent the racial, ethnic and geographic diversity of the state. The bill outlines the specific members of the task force and includes members of both management and labor.
  • SB 2243 (Lightford/Mayfield) requires ISBE to develop and adopt a comprehensive statewide literacy plan for implementation beginning Jan. 31, 2024.

Budget highlights:

  • $350 million increase to the evidence-based funding formula for PreK-12 schools in Illinois and a $570 million increase overall;
  • $250 million increase for early childhood;
  • More than $100 million for students going to college and those who want to teach for a living;
  • $80.5 million increase for public universities and an additional $19.4 million for community colleges;
  • $35 million increase in transportation;
  • Our members’ TRS and SURS pension funds will once again be funded as required by law. TRS will receive $6.273 billion and SURS will receive $2.133 billion;
  • And, TRIP/TRAIL will receive $65.4 million