SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on its legislative agenda for the upcoming fall veto session and regular spring 2020 legislative session when it meets in East St. Louis today.
On the agenda are recommendations for a pair of trailer bills for the fall veto session and safeguards relating to educator misconduct to be discussed in spring session.
According to the meeting agenda, the policy positions are recommended by Illinois Superintendent of Schools Carmen Ayala.
One of the trailer bills is a follow-up to Senate Bill 1952, which eliminated the requirement for educators to pass a basic skills test and revamped other licensing requirements. The trailer bill would allow someone who holds a high school diploma to obtain an educator’s license with a paraprofessional endorsement if they pass a paraprofessional competency test.
That legislation would also reinsert a provision to require individuals teaching at charter schools to pass a content area test if they do not have an educator license.
Another trailer bill would follow up on House Bill 3302, extending the time for individuals to file due-process hearing requests for special-education services that were delayed or denied in the 2016-17 or 2017-18 school year in certain districts.
The recommendations for the spring legislative session include changes to licensure and educator-misconduct policies and general cleanup of the school code.
Ayala is expected to recommend a pair of educator misconduct safeguards. The first would require a local state’s attorney to notify ISBE when certain charges are filed against any individual who holds a license issued by ISBE.
The other provision would require regional offices of education and intermediate service centers to submit updated background check hits to ISBE, to notify the employer and to update a teacher’s state licensure account within 10 business days of receiving the updated background check information.
The board plans to support measures revising requirements for alternative licensure programs among a number of other licensure-related initiatives as well.
One recommendation would make licenses for visiting international teachers valid for five years, up from three. Substitute teachers would be allowed to fill a vacant teaching position in an emergency situation for 90 days, up from 30.
Another recommendation would allow career and technical educators to renew their licenses with a test of workplace proficiency.
The superintendent is also expected to recommend that, in cases where mental illness is the cause of suspension or expulsion, a representative from a local mental health agency be invited to the board meeting, instead of an Illinois Department of Human Services representative.
If the recommendations are approved at the meeting, the board will move forward in drafting legislation and pursuing legislative sponsors for the measures.
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