[5/15/2024] State of Illinois Legislative Update

Summary of Recent Bills Pending in the Illinois General Assembly Pertaining to Education

Prepared by Bev Johns, March 5, 2024

House Bill 1107—West, ll.  Amends the School Code. Requires a school district to develop and implement a plan to provide  additional instructional services, support, or special accommodations to students who suffer from trauma related to experiencing the death of a sibling, parent, guardian, or household member by suicide or homicide or suffer from trauma caused by domestic violence or abuse and whom the school has determined require additional instructional services, support, or special accommodations but do not qualify for an individualized education program or for services under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Sets forth what the plan may include. Provides that the plan shall remain in place until the student (i) is no longer enrolled in the district or (ii) has made such significant and sustained academic progress that the student no longer requires the plan. In provisions relating to children with disabilities, provides that beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, the notice that a school board provides concerning who qualifies for services under Section 504 shall include that a child may qualify for those services if the child is a student who is at least 3 years old or older and under 22 years and who (i) has experienced the death of a sibling, parent, guardian, or household member by suicide or homicide or (ii) suffers from trauma caused by domestic violence or abuse. Effective immediately. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 1246— Reick. Amends the School Code. By July 15 of each year, requires certain school boards to report on their school district’s website, a list of the learning materials and activities used for student instruction during the previous school year. Requires that the report also include any procedures tat are in effect at each school for the documentation, review, or approval of the learning materials and activities used for student instruction. Specifies the minimum information that must be included in the report. Allows a school district to update the report on an ongoing basis and to utilize collaborative online document or spreadsheet software to update or make additions to the report. Sets forth other requirements. Effective July 1, 2023. House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies Committee. 

House Bill 2609—Koehler. Amends the School Code. Requires a school board to include information on how a parent or guardian can safely store any firearms at home where other policies, rules and standards concerning student conduct are posted and made available to parents and guardians. Senate Assignments.

House Bill 2627—Ventura. Amends the Downstate Teachers Article of Illinois Pension Code. Specifies that the provision that requires an employer to make an additional contribution to the System for certain salary increases greater than 6% excludes salary increases necessary to bring a school board in compliance with the changes to the minimum salary provisions of the School Code under the Amendatory Act. Amends the Employment of Teachers Article of the School Code. In provisions concerning the minimum salary, provides that the minimum salary shall be $50,000 for the 2024-2025 school year, $55,000 for the 2025-2026 school year, and $60,000 for the 2026-2027 school year. Provides that the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability shall certify and publish the minimum salary rate to be used for the 2027-2028 school year (rather than for the 2024-2025 school year) no later than September 30, 2026 (rather than September 30, 2023); makes conforming changes. Senate Assignments.

House Bill 4133—Croke. Amends the Courses of Study Article of the School Code. Provides that the provisions concerning bullying prevention apply to nonpublic, sectarian schools. House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 4140—Marron. Amends the State Board of Education Article of the School Code. In provisions concerning grants for preschool educational programs, provides that school districts and other eligible entities shall (instead of may) use the State Board of Education’s evaluation tools for school readiness for children prior to age 5. Provides that following an evaluation, if a school district or other eligible entity determines that a child does not meet school readiness requirements but is 5 or will turn 5 on or before September 1 of a school year and would otherwise be eligible to attend kindergarten, the child may continue to attend a preschool educational program for no more than one additional school year following the child meeting the kindergarten age requirement. Provides that upon completion of that school year, the child is no longer eligible to attend a preschool educational program. Requires the State Board of Education to establish guidelines and procedures for determining whether or not a child meets school readiness requirements. Effective July 1, 2024. House Rules.

House Bill 4175—Croke and Stewart.  Amends the School Code. Provides that a nonpublic school may not engage in slapping or paddling a student, the prolonged maintenance of a student in a physically painful position, or the intentional infliction of bodily harm on a student. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies. 

House Bill 4216—Spain. Amends the Illinois Police Training Act. Provides that the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board shall approve a course for school safety officers (a retired law enforcement officer who has been hired by a school district to perform security services).  Sets forth training and certification requirements, including firearm certification. Provides that an applicant for employment as a school safety officer must authorize an investigation to determine if the applicant has been convicted of any criminal offense that disqualifies the person as a school safety officer. Amends the Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act. Exempts school safety officers from the Act if a school board does not require officer-worn body cameras. Amends the School Code. Provides that, beginning January 1, 2025, a school may employ a school safety officer. Requires a school safety officer applicant to provide the school district a certificate of completion or approved waiver issued by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board. Provides that a school safety officer shall ear a uniform that clearly identifies the officer as a school safety officer. Provides that a school safety officer may detain a person when the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that an offense, other than an ordinance violation, is being committed. Provides that a school safety officer may carry a firearm as long as the officer is certified under specified provisions of the Illinois Police Training Act. Adds references to school safety officers throughout the Code. Effective immediately. House Rules.

House Bill 4219—Rohr. Amends the School Code. In provisions concerning fentanyl education, beginning with the 2025-2026 school year, provides that in at least one unit in the State-required health courses for grades 6 through 8 a school district shall provide instruction, study, and discussion on the dangers of fentanyl. House Elementary and Secondary Education, School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 4265—Yednock. Amends the Gifted and Talented Children and Children Eligible for Accelerated Placement Article of the School Code. Provides that by no later than the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, a school district’s accelerated placement policy may (instead of shall) allow for the automatic enrollment, in the following school term, of a student into the next most rigorous level of advanced coursework offered by the high school if the student exceeds (instead of meets or exceeds) State standards in English language arts, mathematics, or science on a State assessment administered under the School Code. Makes conforming changes. Effective immediately. House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, School Curriculum and Policies.  

House Bill 4277—Rohr. Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code. Requires the  world language endorsement on a Professional Educator License to include American Sign Language under rules of the State Board of Education. House Elementary and Secondary Education-Adm, Licensing and Charter Schools. 

House Bill 4311—Weaver. Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code. Authorizes the issuance of short-term substitute teaching licenses to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an unaccredited institution of higher education. Effective immediately. House Rules.

House Bill 4313—Weaver. Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code. Authorizes the issuance of a college-level endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations if an applicant (i) holds at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, (ii) possesses an educational background that allows the applicant to teach college-level coursework in either a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree granting program, and (iii) has passed a content area test in the subject to be taught by the applicant. Provides that the endorsement is valid until June 30 immediately following 5 years of being issued and may be renewed. Effective immediately. House Rules.

House Bill 4474—Syed. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that in the development of the individualized education program for a student who is 17 years of age or older, or will be during that school year, the IEP team shall consider voter registration as an appropriate goal or competency to be included in the IEP, and, if appropriate, when and how voter registration shall be accomplished. Provides that any resulting decisions shall be included in the IEP. Effective July 1, 2024. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 4581—Mussman. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that if a student who is 18 years of age or older with no legal guardian is placed residentially outside of the school district in which the student’s parent lives and the placement is funded by a State agency or through private insurance, then the resident district is the school district in which the parent lives. Effective immediately. House Elementary and Secondary Education-Adm, Licensing, and Charter Schools.

House Bill 4586—Amends the School Code. Provides that a school board shall require each school to notify students and the students’ parents or guardians twice each year on how to access any mental health services offered in school or in the community where the school is located. House Rules

House Bill 4653—Mussman. Amends the School Code. Makes stylistic changes in provisions concerning institutes or in-service training workshops. In provisions concerning in-service training programs, removes the requirement that the training regarding health conditions of students include the chronic health conditions of students and provides that school district employees who are trained to respond to trauma under the provisions shall be immune from civil liability in the use of a trauma kit unless the action constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. Provides that training regarding the implementation of trauma-informed practices under the provisions concerning institutes or in-service training workshops satisfies the requirements under the provisions concerning in-service training programs. Removes certain provisions that require a school board to conduct in-service training for all school district employees on the methods to respond to trauma. Makes technical changes having a revisory function. Effective January 1, 2025. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 4672—Mussman. Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code. In provisions concerning educator testing provides that an applicant for a Professional Educator License with a school support personnel endorsement for non-teaching speech-language pathologist may satisfy the requirement of passing a test of content area knowledge by passing the national Praxis test in speech-language pathology administered by the Educational Testing Service. Provides that an applicant for a Professional Educator License with a school support personnel endorsement for non-teaching speech-language pathologist may complete a school internship, externship, or practicum prior to taking the Praxis test, but must pass the Praxis test in speech-language pathology prior to licensure. House Elementary and Secondary Education-Adm, Licensing, and Charter Schools.

House Bill 4787—Grant. Creates the Paraprofessional Fast Track to Teaching Degree Pilot Program Act. Makes findings. Provides that the Professional Fast Track to Teaching Degree Pilot Program is created for a 2-year degree pathway by which paraprofessional educators may enroll to achieve the education requirements to attain a professional educator license in this State, which shall comply with the standards of the State Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education. Provides that, subject to appropriation, beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year or, if funds are not appropriated for the Program that academic year, beginning with the academic year in which funds are appropriated for the Program, the State Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education shall coordinate with each other to assign a qualified individual to serve as a Program director to develop the curriculum for the Program. Provides that one public elementary or public secondary school and one public university in this State shall be chosen to develop a program for transitioning paraprofessionals to teachers. Includes the core components of the Program. Provides that the State Board of Education and the Board of Higher Education must submit a report to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Legislative Reference Bureau detailing the impact of the Program and then the Program is dissolved and the Act is repealed. Effective Immediately. House Higher Education.

House Bill 4850—McCombie. Creates the School District Impact Note Act. Requires every bill that could have a negative impact on the finances of a school district in the State or that could cause a school district to expend additional staffing resources to have prepared for it by the Illinois State Board of Education a brief explanatory statement or note describing the bill’s anticipated impact on education in the State. Specifies the contents of the note and the circumstances under which the note is to be prepared. Clarifies that the preparation of such a note does note preclude a State official or employee from participating in legislative hearings concerning the bill. Provides that the subject matter of bills submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education shall be kept in strict confidence, and no information relating to the bill or its anticipated impact on education in the State shall be divulged, before the bill’s introduction in the General Assembly, by any State official or employee of the State Board, except to the bill’s sponsor or his or her designee. Effective Immediately. House Rules.

House Bill 4896—Mussman. Amends the School Code. In provisions concerning sexual misconduct in schools, provides that guidelines established for certain situations and all available methods for how to report staff-student boundary violations within a school and to external agencies must be posted on the website, if any, of each school district, charter school, or non public school and must be included in any staff, student, or parent handbook provided by the school district, charter school, or nonpublic school. In provisions concerning an employment history review, provides that a job applicant shall provide the name, address, telephone number, and other relevant contact information of the applicant’s current employer only if the applicant has direct contact with children or students at the applicant’s current employer. Provides that for a substitute employee licensed by the State Board of Education and seeking employment in more than one school district, the employment history review shall be conducted by the regional office of education or intermediate service center in which the school districts are located. Provides for when this review is required and how the review remains valid, and provides for immunity for regional offices of education and intermediate service centers. House Elementary and Secondary Education Comm., School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 4902—Dias. Amends the State Board of Education Article of the School Code. In provisions concerning State interventions, provides that the support provided by a vendor or learning partner approved to support a school’s continuous improvement plan related to English language arts must be based on the comprehensive literacy plan for the State developed by the State Board of Education. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 4955—Scherr. Amends the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education shall administer no more than one assessment (instead of 3 assessments), per student, of English language arts and mathematics for students in a secondary education program. Removes a provision that specifies that students who do not take the State’s final accountability assessment or its approved alternate assessment may not receive a regular high school diploma unless otherwise exempted. Provides that the State Board of Education may not assess students in any manner beyond that required for compliance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Provides that the State Board shall also explore and flexibility afforded to states through waivers under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Makes conforming changes. Effective Immediately. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies. 

House Bill 5025—Dias. Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code. Allows an applicant to qualify for a Short-Term Substitute Teaching License if the applicant has retired in good standing while holding a valid paraprofessional educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations. House Elementary and Secondary Education-Adm., Licensing, and Charter Schools.

House Bill 5057—Scherer. Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education shall establish a content area test for applicants seeking a State license to teach in any of grades kindergarten through 8. Provides that the test shall include foundational teaching skills and methods that are developmentally and educationally appropriate for students in grades kindergarten through 8. Provides that, in addition to this test, the State Board of Education shall establish specialty content area tests in mathematics, music, and science that are optional for applicants seeking an endorsement in mathematics, music, or science. House Elementary and Secondary Education-Adm., Licensing, and Charter Schools.

House Bill 5184—Davidsmeyer. Amends the Courses of Study Article of the School Code. In provisions concerning bullying prevention, provides that “policy on bullying” means a bullying prevention policy that is age and developmentally appropriate. Effective July 1, 2024. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 5250—Ammons. Amends the Gifted and Talented Children and Children Eligible for Accelerated Placement Article of the Code. Provides that a school district’s accelerated placement policy may allow for the waiver of a course or unit of instruction completion requirement if (i) completion of the course or unit of instruction is required by the Code or rules adopted by the State Board of Education as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma and (ii) the school district has determined that the student has demonstrated mastery of or competency in the content of the course or unit of instruction. Provides that the school district shall maintain documentation of this determination of mastery or competency for each student, which must include identification of the learning standards or competencies reviewed, the methods of measurement used, student performance, the date of the determination, and identification of the district personnel involved in the determination process. Provides that a school district must provide notification to a student’s parent or guardian that the student will receive a waiver. Makes a corresponding change in the Courses of Study Article of the Code. Effective Immediately. House Rules.

House Bill 5275—Ness. Amends the Illinois School Student Records Act. Provides that the term “Student Permanent Record” may include reports of psychological evaluations, including information on intelligence and personality, academic information obtained through test administration, observation, or interviews, elementary and secondary achievement-level test results, special education records, and recors associated with a plan developed under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. With respect to the term “Student Permanent Record”, removes intelligence test scores, aptitude test scores, psychological and personality test results, teacher evaluations, and other information of clear relevance to the education of a student from the information allowed to included. Provides that if consent is provided by a student or the student’s parent or guardian, then a copy of the student’s school student records shall be provided at no cost to the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, an independent service coordination agency, or Equip for Equality to establish access to adult disability services and related benefits. House Elementary and Secondary Education-Adm., Licensing, and Charter Schools.

House Bill 5276—Ness and Mussman. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. In provisions concerning transition services, provides that the transition planning process and the transition plan prepared for a student shall include consideration of the assistive technology needs of the student related to the student’s transition goals while the student is participating in transition-related activities and in post-school activities, including assistive technology evaluations, devices, and services and the availability and accessibility of appropriate assistive technology devices and services for the student in post-school activities. Effective Immediately. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 5361—Canty. Amends the Courses of Study Article of the School Code. In provisions concerning parenting education, provides that school districts shall (instead of may) provide instruction in parenting education for grades 9 through 12. Effective July 1, 2024. House Rules.

House Bill 5416—Davidsmeyer. Amends the Compulsory Attendance Article of the School Code. Provides that a school, school board, or school district shall require a medical note for an absence to be excused only after 9 unexcused absences. Provides that if a student’s medical note states that the student should be excused for a specific period of time or if the illness stated in the medical note has a recommended isolation period issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, then a school, school board, or school district shall excuse all days listed in the note or for the amount of days of the recommended isolation period set by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. House Elementary and Secondary Education School curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 5430—Davis. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that the resident district for a student who, as a result of the student’s medically complex status resides exclusively at a full-time residential care facility, shall be the school district in which the residential facility is located if the residential facility provides the student with a regular fixed night-time residence for reasons other than placement in a specific school district and the student is not enrolled in a school district outside the district in which the residential facility is located. Provides that as a resident of the district in which the residential facility is located, the educational costs for a student shall be provided directly by the State Board of Education and shall be calculated based on the applicable per diem rate provided by the Illinois Purchased Care Review Board, with such per diem rate being based solely upon the audited submission of the cost financial report for the residential facility for special education students during the applicable school year. Provides that a residential facility shall submit monthly invoices to the State Board of Education for the education costs of a student in a residential facility. Provides that the State Board of Education shall ensure that a representative of the resident school district of the student in a residential facility attend and participate in a individualized education program meeting for the student, and shall proffer a nonpublic facility placement contract for each student and the school district shall immediately execute and return the nonpublic facility placement contract to the residential facility. Provides that for a student in a residential facility, an educational surrogate shall be appointed who shall have authority to execute an individualized education program in the place of the student’s parent or guardian on behalf of the student. Provides for restrictions on withholding payment to a residential facility. Provides that the provisions applies only to a special education student who lives at an relies on residential facility as the student’s overnight residence but who has not been enrolled by the student’s parent or guardian in a school district. Effective Immediately. House Appropriations Elementary and Secondary Education. 

House Bill 5434—Jed Davis. Amends the State Board of Education Article of the School Code. Provides that a student shall remain on the attendance rolls of a school district until a cause for disenrollment is given and confirmed with specified documentation. Amends the School Board Article of the Code. Requires the school district report card to contain data concerning the number of students who remained on the school district’s attendance rolls, and the length of time in which each student remained on the school district’s attendance rolls but was not attending school. Amends the Compulsory Attendance Article of the Code to make a corresponding change regarding a chronic or habitual truant. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

House Bill 5619—Blair-Sherlock. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that, subject to appropriation, the State Board of Education shall allocate sufficient funds to provide for transportation and lodging for the members of the Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities to attend meetings in Springfield and shall provide funds, not to exceed $5,000, for scholarships for families to attend an annual legislative breakfast organized by the Advisory Council. House Elementary and Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies.

SENATE BILLS

Senate Bill 1400—Lightford. Amends the School Code. In provisions concerning student discipline policies, provides that the State Board of Education shall draft and publish model policy guidelines for the development of reciprocal reporting systems and school bus safety protocols and for evidence-based early intervention procedures. In provisions concerning the suspension or expulsion of students, makes changes concerning a student’s gross disobedience or misconduct posing an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or school personnel, when school exclusions should be used, the number and duration of expulsions and suspensions, the implementation of proactive evidence-based interventions that improve behavioral outcomes for all students, non-exclusionary discipline, out-of-school suspensions of 3 days or less, model policy guidelines for the reengagement of students, professional development, and the removal of children with disabilities who violate the student discipline policies from their current placement. Makes other changes. Effective Immediately.  Amended to consider in Senate Education.

Senate Bill 2721—Cappel and Ventura. Amends the School Code. Provides that school boards shall allow all educators to have daily continuous uninterrupted individual classroom planning time. Provides that the planning period shall be equal to one class period but no less than 45 minutes in duration. Provides that this time requirement applies to educators who are in contact with students for 50% or more of their contracted workday. Provides that, during this planning period, educators may not be forced to substitute in other areas of the building or district when another educator is absent, or a vacancy exists and may not be forced to attend meetings, trainings, or conferences of any kind. Provides hat if an educator chooses to substitute or attend a meeting, training, or conference during their guaranteed planning period of their own free will, the educator shall be compensated at a rate of pay that is negotiated between the local board of education and local association of a state teacher association. Senate Assignments.

Senate Bill 2771—Tracy and Anderson. Amends the School Code. Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, requires a school board to allow a student who resides in the school district but attends a nonpublic school to participate in extracurricular athletic activities sponsored by the district without being required to enroll or compete coursework at a public school within the district if certain conditions are met. Effective Immediately. Senate Assignments. 

Senate Bill 2772—Anderson and Bennett. Amends the School Code. Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, requires school boards to report, on their school district’s website, a list of the learning material and activities to be used for student instruction during the school year. Requires that the report also include any procedures that are in effect at each school for the documentation, review, or approval of the learning materials and activities used for student instruction. Specifies the minimum information that must be included in the report. Allows a school district to update the report on an ongoing basis, but requires the report to be updated by January 1 and August 1 of each year. Allows a school district to utilize collaborative online document or spreadsheet software to update or make additions to the report. Sets forth other requirements. Effective Immediately. Senate Assignments. 

Senate Bill 2810—Ellman. Amends the State Board of Education Article of the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education shall develop and post on its internet website a document that provides information to students and residents of a school district on how to petition a school board to require that self-defense instruction be included in physical education courses. Senate Assignments.

Senate Bill 3156—Johnson.  Amends the School Code.  In provisions concerning a comprehensive strategic plan, provides that the State Board of Education shall annually review the strategic plan, update the contents of the plan if necessary, and provide updates to the Governor and General Assembly (instead of requiring the plan to be updated and issued to the Governor and General Assembly). Makes changes concerning property tax relief pool  grants and tuition for non-resident pupils. In provisions concerning hazardous materials training, provides that the State Board may identify in-service training programs to be used by school boards (instead of shall approve in-service training programs). In provisions concerning e-learning days, provides that a research-based program for e-learning days shall be verified annually before the implementation of any e-learning days in a school year (instead of requiring verification on or before September 1st annually); makes other changes. In provisions concerning school counseling services, provides that school counseling services shall (instead of may) be provided by school counselors and may be delivered through a comprehensive school counseling program; makes other changes. Makes changes concerning the reporting of firearms and drug-related incidents in schools, educator licensure, reenrolled students, and career and technical education. Amends the School Safety Drill Act. Makes changes concerning threat assessment team members, and fixes a typographical error. Amends the Vocational Education Act. Makes changes regarding the Gender Equity Advisory Committee. Postponed in Education.

Senate Bill 3164—Edly-Allen. Amends the School Code. In provisions concerning restrictions on prekindergarten through grade 2 assessments, provides that the term “diagnostic and screening purposes” includes to determine eligibility for advanced academic programs, as defined in the Gifted and Talented Children and Children Eligible for Accelerated Placement Article of the Code. Effective Immediately. Second Reading House

Senate Bill 3166—Koehler. Amends the Illinois School Student Records Act. Provides that the term “Student Permanent Record” may include reports of psychological evaluations, including information on intelligence and personality, academic information obtained through test administration, observation, or interviews, elementary and secondary achievement-level test results, special education records, and records associated with a plan developed under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. With respect to the term “Student Permanent Record”, removes intelligence test scores, aptitude test scores, psychological and personality teste results, teacher evaluations, and other information of clear relevance to the education of a student from the information allowed to be included. Provides that if consent is provided by a student or the student’s parent or guardian, then a copy of the student’s school student records shall be provided at no cost to the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, an independent service coordination agency, or Equip for Equality to establish access to adult disability services and related benefits. Second Reading Senate

Senate Bill 3261— Fowler and Bennett. Amends the School Code. Provides that, beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, at least once every 2 years, a school board shall conduct in-service training for all school district employees on how to identify trafficking in persons under the Criminal Code of 2012. Makes technical changes having a revisory function. Effective Immediately. Senate Education.

Senate Bill 3316—Feignholtz. Amends various Acts concerning children’s mental health. Amends the School Code. Provides that on or before October 1, 2024, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Team, the Office of the Governor, and relevant stakeholders as needed shall release a strategy that includes a tool for measuring capacity and readiness to implement universal mental health screening of students. Provides that the State Board of Education shall issue a report to the Governor and the General Assembly on school district readiness and plan for phased approach to universal mental health screening of students on or before April 1, 2025. Repeals the Wellness Checks in Schools Program Act. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Provides that the Department of Healthcare and Family Services shall implement guidance to managed care organizations and care coordination entities respond to lead indicators with services and interventions that are designed to help stabilize the child. Amends the Children’s Mental Health Act. Provides that the Children’s Mental Health Partnership shall advise the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative on designing and implementing short-term and long-term strategies to provide comprehensive and coordinated services for children from birth to age 25 and their families with the goal of addressing children’s mental health needs across a full continuum of care, including social determinants of health, prevention, early identification, and treatment. Provides that the Department of Public Health (rather than the Department of Healthcare and Family Services) shall provide technical and administrative support for the Partnership. Deletes provision that the Partnership shall employ an Executive Director and set the compensation of the Executive Director and other such employees and technical assistance as it deems necessary to carry out its duties. Amends the Interagency Children’s Behavioral Health Services Act. Provides that the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Team in collaboration with the Department of Human Services shall develop a program to provide one-on-one in-home respite behavioral health aids to youth requiring intensive supervision due to behavioral health needs. Effective Immediately. Senate Behavioral and Mental Health.

Senate Bill 3382—Cappel. Amends the Evaluation of Certified Employees article of the School Code. Provides that on July 1, 2024, the State Superintendent of Education shall convene a Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee for the purpose of maintaining and improving the State evaluator training and prequalification program in this State. Provides that the Committee shall be staffed by the State Board of Education.  Sets forth the membership of the Committee. Provides that members of the Committee shall be nominated by program providers and appointed by the State Superintendent. Provides that the Committee shall meet initially at the call of the State Superintendent and shall select one member as chairperson at its initial meeting. Provides that the Committee shall meet at least quarterly and may also meet at the call of the chairperson of the Committee. Provides that the Committee shall advise the State Board of Education on the continued implementation of the evaluator training and pre-qualification program in this State, which may include the development and delivery of the program’s existing and new administrators’ academies, gathering feedback from program instructors and participants, sharing best practices, consulting with the State board on any proposed rule changes regarding evaluator training, and other subjects as determined by the chairperson of the Committee. Effective June 15, 2024. Senate Assignments.

Senate Bill 3461—Wilcox. Amends the  Courses of Study Article of the School Code. Provides tha, beginning with the 2025-2026 school year, every public elementary school and high school social studies course pertaining to American History shall include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events of the previous 30 years and the causes that led up to those events. Provides for what the unit of instruction shall and may include. Provides that the State Superintendent of Education may prepare and make available to all school boards instructional materials and professional development opportunities that may be used as guidelines for development of the unit of instruction. Provides that each school board shall itself determine the minimum amount of instructional time that qualifies as a unit of instruction. Provides that the regional superintendent of schools shall monitor a school district’s compliance with the curricular requirements during the recommendations for improvement, including professional development. Effective July 1, 2024. Senate Assignments.

Senate Bill 3467—Villivalam. Amends the Illinois Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act. Makes changes in provisions concerning the educational requirements for licensure as a speech-language pathology assistant. Effective January 1, 2025. Senate Licensed Activities.

Senate Bill 3473—Sims. Amends the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education, in coordination with the Department of Public Health, shall develop type 1 diabetes informational materials for parents and guardians of students. Provides that the informational materials shall be made available to each school district and charter school on the State Board’s website. Provides that the school board of a school district and the governing body of a charter school shall make the informational materials accessible to a parent or guardian when the student is first enrolled in elementary school or in a school’s student handbook on and after July 1, 2024. Sets forth what the provided information may include. Effective Immediately. Senate Education. 

Senate Bill 3533—Bennett. Amends the Transitional Bilingual Education Article of the School Code. Provides that, beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, a program in transitional bilingual education shall include a unit of instruction that teaches English Learners about American civics and culture. Provides that the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Advisory Council on Bilingual Education, shall establish and publish learning standards for a school district to utilize for this unit of instruction. Effective Immediately. Senate Assignments.

Senate Bill 3606—Cappel and Harmon. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that the term “special educational facilities and services” includes private special schools (instead of special schools) and separate public special education day schools. Provides that if a child has been places in a separate public special education day school, a school district making tuition payments in excess of $4,500 shall be responsible for an amount in excess of $4,500 equal to 2 times the district’s per capita tuition charge and shall be eligible for reimbursement from the State for the amount of such payments actually made in excess of 2 times the district’s per capita tuition charge for students not receiving special education services. Requires a certification and finding to be made for reimbursement of a school district of the amount paid for tuition of a child attending a public special education facility. Senate Education. 

Senate Bill 3642—Preston. Amends the State Board of Education Article of the School Code. In the provisions requiring State Board of Education develop and make available training opportunities for educators in teaching reading, provides that the materials may include the creation of an online portal that the materials may include the creation of an online portal to train educators in teaching Black English language learners and Black English as a second language. Provides that the portal shall aid educators in teaching students accustomed to using the African American English vernacular, teach about the history and development of African American English vernacular, and include evidence-based methods in teaching literacy to these students accustomed to African American English vernacular. Effective Immediately. Senate Assignments.

Senate Bill 3690—Turner. Amends the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education shall establish a librarian recruitment and retention program, which shall encourage both new and experienced librarians to see employment with qualifying public schools by providing for a refundable income tax credit to each participating librarian in the amount of $3,000 per school year for no more than 5 consecutive school years. Contains requirements for participating school districts and participating librarians. Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act establishing the $3,000 tax credit for individuals designated by the State Board of Education as a participating librarian in the librarian recruitment and retention program. Effective July 1, 2024. Senate Appropriations Education.

Senate Bill 3768—Hilton and Joyce. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education shall maintain and operate, or contract for (instead of being empowered to establish, maintain, and operate or contract for) the operation of a permanent statewide residential education facility (instead of statewide service center), known as the Philip J. Rock Center and School. Provides that the State Board of Education shall include a line item in its budget to pay the costs of operating and maintaining the Philip J. Rock Center and School. Limits the specified services provided by the Philip J. Rock Center and School to eligible deaf-blind persons of all ages to being subject to appropriated funding for those specified services. Makes changes concerning provided services. Provides that for the purposes of employment, the Philip J. Rock Center and School shall be considered its own employer. Provides that the State Board of Education shall appoint a Chief Administrator of the Philip J. Rock Center and School who shall be employed by the Philip J. Rock Center and School. Specifies the duties of the Chief Administrator. Sets forth provisions concerning a student with an individualized education program at the Philip J. Rock Center and School. Makes changes concerning the Advisory Board for the Philip J. Rock Center and School. Makes other changes. Senate Education. 

Illinois State Legislation