Advocacy

Amendment Filed to Education Omnibus Bill

By David Wood posted 16 days ago

  

Amendment Filed to Education Omnibus Bill


With only a five-day schedule before new members of the General Assembly are sworn in at noon Wednesday, legislation can change quickly and move fast during the lame duck session. 

Today, an amendment, Senate Amendment 2 to HB 2170, was filed to the expansive education omnibus bill put forth by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. An identical amendment, House Amendment 2 to SB 458, has been filed in the House. 

The amendment pairs down the bill from 490 to 268 pages and removes or delays certain requirements that would have had a significant financial impact on schools. 

There are some changes with graduation and other provisions, but the intent of the bill is more so to further study and review policies, practices and curriculum, rather than impose new mandates. 

We anticipate this version will be approved by both chambers during the lame duck session and sent to the governor. Of course, if anything changes we will update you. 

We commend the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus for their willingness to listen and negotiate on this bill. The caucus has been a great partner and advocate for school funding, and we appreciate their passion for improving Illinois’ education system. 

Here is a closer look at the bill, broken down by what was removed, new graduation requirements and other provisions in the legislation. 

What Was Removed:
  • The amendment removes language to add 15 additional attendance days and five additional teacher institute days. The possibility of extending the school calendar will be studied by the Illinois P-20 Council.
  • Evidence-Based Funding Formula won’t undergo any immediate changes. The Professional Review Panel is tasked with studying racial equity and adequacy targets and will make recommendations. 
  • Dyslexia screening and reading and math interventions in grades K-3 have been taken out from the initial plan.
  • The income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) will remain at 75 percent and not expanded to 100 percent. The program, Invest in Kids Act, provides scholarships to send students to private schools. A push to eliminate the sunset proposal of January 2024 was scrapped. 

New Graduation Requirements:
  • Starting in 2028-2029 school year, two years of a foreign language for high school graduation, and after financial impact review.
  • Starting in 2024-2025 school year, requiring two years of laboratory science (rather than science).
  • Starting in 2022-2023 school year, students in grades 9-12 must complete one year of a course that includes intensive instruction in computer literacy, which may be English, social studies, or any other subject and may be counted toward the fulfillment of other graduation requirements.

Other Provisions in the Legislation:
  • The KIDS Assessment will be codified into law.
  • Requires all school districts to ensure students receive developmentally appropriate opportunities to gain computer literacy skills beginning in elementary school.
  • Starting with 2023-2024 school year, requires districts to provide an opportunity for students to take at least one computer science course in grades 9-12.
  • Creates a Whole Child Task Force to review training in restorative practices, implicit bias, mental health services, and SEL services; recommendations on anti-racist and trauma-responsive strategies and practices. Members would include 2 school administrators, a principal, and a school board member.
  • Removes GPA requirement (3.0/4.0) for alternative educator licensure programs.
  • Increases funding allotments for the Minority Teachers of Illinois scholarship program based on available appropriations.
  • Review of social studies standards to be inclusive and reflective of all individuals in this country.
  • Creates an Inclusive American History Commission to review available resources to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the State and country, provide guidance for learning standards to ensure instruction and content are not biased to specific cultures, time periods, and experiences; and, tools and support for professional learning. The Commission would include teachers, a principal, school librarian, school board member, and a superintendent.
  • Adds the history of pre-enslavement of Black people and the study of the American civil rights renaissance to the Black History curriculum.

Sincerely, 

Diane Hendren 
Director of Governmental Relations 
Illinois Association of School Administrators
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