Rebel Reporter Article – New School Laws for 2017
Each year, the Illinois General Assembly passes new legislation that impacts schools, and each year I try to provide you with a synopsis of the legislation that most profoundly affects District 100. Some of the legislation is important to schools and students; much of the legislation, however, is politically driven. My article this month highlights just a few of the eighty-two new laws enacted in 2016 that take effect at different times in 2017. As always, you can judge for yourself which are the most important.
Boards of Education:
1) HB4379 creates the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act to require schools districts to adopt a policy to regulate travel, meal and lodging expenses of officers and employees.
2) HB4606 makes changes concerning the determination by a school board that a pupil who is attending school in the district on a tuition free basis is a nonresident for whom tuition should be charged.
3) HB4630 requires that all available minutes and verbatim records of meetings closed to the public prior to a newly elected board members term shall be available to that board member for review.
4) HB4715 allows the court to fine a public body $1000 each day the body fails to comply with the court’s order regarding a FOIA compliance violation.
5) HB5530 provides that a district shall not enter into a contract to purchase food with a bidder, if the bidder’s contract terms prohibit the district from donating food to food banks.
6) HB5684 provides that employers under IMRF may not pay a disclosable payment to a retiring employee before the expected date of retirement without first disclosing the payment at a public meeting.
7) HB5901 creates an assessment reporting requirement. Each school district must report to ISBE for each school in its district:
- Every reliable student assessment it administers
- The administration window for each of these assessments
- Which entity is requiring the assessments
- Which grade level will be taking the assessments
- Which subsets of students will be taking the assessments
- An estimated average time it will take a student to complete the assessments
- For what purposes the assessments will be used
8) HB6131 provides that driver education courses shall include instruction concerning law enforcement procedures for traffic stops, including a demonstration of proper actions to be taken by drivers during traffic stops.
9) SB04834 provides that a district may hold closed meetings to discuss matter protected under the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act.
10) SB2186 provides that a district is subject to any valid local government zoning ordinance that applies where a school is located.
11) SB2393 requires districts to provide breakfast to students if 70% or more are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
12) SB2823 allows a school board to use a licensed real estate broker to sell a home constructed by the district through a student building trades program.
13) SB2974 provides that permanent vehicle registration plates shall be issued for a one time fee of $8, to vehicles that do not require school bus driver permit to operate, and are owned by a public school district.
- HB4036 extends Family and Medical Leave Act to all employee leave related to domestic violence.
- HB4996 requires districts to assign an employee to act as a liaison to facilitate the enrollment of students assigned to DCFS.
- HB4999 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to access or join a personal online account in the employer’s presence, and prohibits the employer from requiring that employees provide usernames or passwords to personal online accounts.
- HB5576 requires insurance plans to cover all contraceptive drugs, devices and other products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- HB6162 provides that employees may use personal sick leave for absences due to an illness, injury or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent on the same terms upon with the employee is able to use sick leave for his/her own illness or injury.
- HB6181 allows teachers to earn professional development hours during the final three months of the school year, and to enter those PD hours into the Educator Licensure Information System.
- SB2137 requires teacher training on a Teacher Institute Day at least once every two years on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- SB2613 provides that an employee who is eligible under the FMLA may use up to two weeks of unpaid bereavement leave following the death of his/her child.
- SB2975 provides that, subject to appropriation, there is created an agriculture education teacher grant program to fund some of the personal service costs for district agriculture teachers.
- HB5529 extends the expiration date of the law that allows for district to make interfund transfers for three more years.
- SB0238 provides that not less than 14% of the Early Childhood Education Block Grant allocation (instead of 20%) shall be used to fund age 0-3 programs, and that 25% of any additional Early Childhood funding shall be earmarked for 0-3 programs until a time when the percentage again reaches the 20% threshold.
School Safety and Health:
1) HB4365 requires the IHSA to require all member schools that have certified athletic trainers to complete a monthly report on students that have sustained concussions.
2) HB4462 allows students to self-carry and self-administer asthma and epinephrine auto-injectors while on a school bus. It also adds bus drivers to the list of personnel who can be trained on the administration of both.
3) SB2835 requires a vehicle to stop before meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus, from any direction, at any location.
4) SB0550 requires the testing of potable water in school buildings where Pre-K through 5th grade students are housed.
State Board of Education:
1) HB4630 provides that no one may be licensed to teach or supervise in a public school, who has been convicted of certain drug offenses, until seven years following the end of the sentence.
2) SB2912 makes changes to teacher licensure laws addressing in-state endorsements, provisional endorsements, substitute teacher licenses, and requirement for teachers trained in other states.
3) HB6333 requires a school district to request an asthma action plan from parent of a pupil with asthma. It also requires school personnel that work with a student with asthma, to receive training every two years.
1) HB4432 allows a student in grades 6-12 to be absent from a public school on a day the student is sounding Taps at a military honors.
2) HB4983 establishes the State Global Scholar Certification Program to recognize high school graduates who have attained global competence, sufficient for meaningful use in college or career.
3) HB5902 provides that a student journalist has the right to exercise freedom of speech in school-sponsored media, and that school officials shall notify students of any limitations under this Act.
4) HB6167 allows a person who is 17 years old on the date of a caucus or consolidated primary election to vote at that caucus or primary election, if the 17-year old will be 18 years old on the date of the subsequent general election for which candidates at the primary election are nominated.
5) SB1582 allows students with IEP’s, who attend private day schools, to be transported via a multi-function school activity bus.
6) SB2840 requires the Regional Superintendent of Schools to waive fee for GED testing for homeless students under the age of 25.
This is just a sample of the new school laws that go into effect at various times in 2017. If you are interested in a comprehensive list of new laws, or if you have any questions about these new state mandates please feel free to give me a call at the District Office. If you’re curious as to how your legislators can enact so many new laws, while remaining unable to pass a budget – I suggest you call them.
Jerry Klooster, Supt.