When more than 150 laws take effect in Illinois Jan. 1, seven will address Illinois schools and education.
The following laws effective Jan. 1 address education:
Bilingual Education (HB 3819/PA 97‐915): Requires the Advisory Council on Bilingual Education to submit a report by Jan. 1, 2013, to the State Superintendent of Education, the Governor, and the General Assembly, that addresses certain questions relating to the modification of bilingual education programs.
College Search Committee Financing (HB 5914/PA 97‐0814): Prohibits the use of state funds or tuition revenue to fund a hiring search committee, except for hiring the university president, or in cases where the university president and board of trustees demonstrate a need for specialized guidance.
Ethnicity Education (HB 1473/PA 97‐909): Allows the Chicago Board of Education to develop a plan for implementing a program that seeks to establish common bonds between youth of various backgrounds and ethnicities. The program may be similar to that of the “Challenge Day” organization, which sponsors all‐day events at schools to challenge and subsequently create connections between students.
Fire Sprinklers in Dorms (HB 4757/PA 97‐ 899): Allows colleges and universities to file a plan pledging their compliance with a new state law requiring the installation of sprinkler systems in dorm halls by 2014. Since the installation is so expensive, many schools have had to delay completion of the installation projects; this gives them additional time to install the systems.
High School Math Requirement (SB 3244/PA 97‐704): Requires state education organizations and other stakeholders to study issues relating to the middle and high school math curriculum and then develop an educational curriculum model that would be given to school districts and teachers. This is an effort to promote math skills and increase education standards with relation to math and curriculum.
Religious Excused Absence (SB 2949/PA 97‐ 1038): Provides that any college student who must miss a test or class due to religious beliefs must be given the opportunity to make up the work if he/she has a reasonable excuse. Requires the student to notify the faculty/instructor in advance.
School Consolidation (SB 3252/PA 97‐ 1022): Gives school districts that are seeking to consolidate flexibility to reconcile taxpayer obligations due to past bond issues. Gives the combined school district a five year phase‐in to adjust the tax rates.
Source: State Sen. Kirk Dillard website