(105 ILCS 5/34-18.43)
    Sec. 34-18.43. Establishing an equitable and effective school facility development process.
    (a) The General Assembly finds all of the following:
        (1) The Illinois Constitution recognizes that a
    
"fundamental goal of the People of the State is the educational development of all persons to the limits of their capacities".
        (2) Quality educational facilities are essential for
    
fostering the maximum educational development of all persons through their educational experience from pre-kindergarten through high school.
        (3) The public school is a major institution in our
    
communities. Public schools offer resources and opportunities for the children of this State who seek and deserve quality education, but also benefit the entire community that seeks improvement through access to education.
        (4) The equitable and efficient use of available
    
facilities-related resources among different schools and among racial, ethnic, income, and disability groups is essential to maximize the development of quality public educational facilities for all children, youth, and adults. The factors that impact the equitable and efficient use of facility-related resources vary according to the needs of each school community. Therefore, decisions that impact school facilities should include the input of the school community to the greatest extent possible.
        (5) School openings, school closings, school
    
consolidations, school turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school repairs, school modernizations, school boundary changes, and other related school facility decisions often have a profound impact on education in a community. In order to minimize the negative impact of school facility decisions on the community, these decisions should be implemented according to a clear system-wide criteria and with the significant involvement of local school councils, parents, educators, and the community in decision-making.
        (6) The General Assembly has previously stated that
    
it intended to make the individual school in the City of Chicago the essential unit for educational governance and improvement and to place the primary responsibility for school governance and improvement in the hands of parents, teachers, and community residents at each school. A school facility policy must be consistent with these principles.
    (b) In order to ensure that school facility-related decisions are made with the input of the community and reflect educationally sound and fiscally responsible criteria, a Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall be established within 15 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly.
    (c) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall consist of all of the following members:
        (1) Two members of the House of Representatives
    
appointed by the Speaker of the House, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.
        (2) Two members of the House of Representatives
    
appointed by the Minority Leader of the House, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.
        (3) Two members of the Senate appointed by the
    
President of the Senate, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Education Committee.
        (4) Two members of the Senate appointed by the
    
Minority Leader of the Senate, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Education Committee.
        (5) Two representatives of school community
    
organizations with past involvement in school facility issues appointed by the Speaker of the House.
        (6) Two representatives of school community
    
organizations with past involvement in school facility issues appointed by the President of the Senate.
        (7) The chief executive officer of the school
    
district or his or her designee.
        (8) The president of the union representing teachers
    
in the schools of the district or his or her designee.
        (9) The president of the association representing
    
principals in the schools of the district or his or her designee.
    (d) The Speaker of the House shall appoint one of the appointed House members as a co-chairperson of the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force. The President of the Senate shall appoint one of the appointed Senate members as a co-chairperson of the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force. Members appointed by the legislative leaders shall be appointed for the duration of the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force; in the event of a vacancy, the appointment to fill the vacancy shall be made by the legislative leader of the same chamber and party as the leader who made the original appointment.
    (e) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall call on independent experts, as needed, to gather and analyze pertinent information on a pro bono basis, provided that these experts have no previous or on-going financial interest in school facility issues related to the school district. The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall secure pro bono expert assistance within 15 days after the establishment of the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force.
    (f) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall be empowered to gather further evidence in the form of testimony or documents or other materials.
    (g) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force, with the help of the independent experts, shall analyze past Chicago experiences and data with respect to school openings, school closings, school consolidations, school turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school repairs, school modernizations, school boundary changes, and other related school facility decisions on students. The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall consult widely with stakeholders, including public officials, about these facility issues and their related costs and shall examine relevant best practices from other school systems for dealing with these issues systematically and equitably. These initial investigations shall include opportunities for input from local stakeholders through hearings, focus groups, and interviews.
    (h) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall prepare recommendations describing how the issues set forth in subsection (g) of this Section can be addressed effectively based upon educationally sound and fiscally responsible practices.
    (i) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall hold hearings in separate areas of the school district at times that shall maximize school community participation to obtain comments on draft recommendations. The final hearing shall take place no later than 15 days prior to the completion of the final recommendations.
    (j) The Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall prepare final proposed policy and legislative recommendations for the General Assembly, the Governor, and the school district. The recommendations may address issues, standards, and procedures set forth in this Section. The final recommendations shall be made available to the public through posting on the school district's Internet website and other forms of publication and distribution in the school district at least 7 days before the recommendations are submitted to the General Assembly, the Governor, and the school district.
    (k) The recommendations may address issues of system-wide criteria for ensuring clear priorities, equity, and efficiency.
    Without limitation, the final recommendations may propose significant decision-making roles for key stakeholders, including the individual school and community; recommend clear criteria or processes for establishing criteria for making school facility decisions; and include clear criteria for setting priorities with respect to school openings, school closings, school consolidations, school turnarounds, school phase-outs, school construction, school repairs, school modernizations, school boundary changes, and other related school facility decisions, including the encouragement of multiple community uses for school space.
    Without limitation, the recommendations may propose criteria for student mobility; the transferring of students to lower performing schools; teacher mobility; insufficient notice to and the lack of inclusion in decision-making of local school councils, parents, and community members about school facility decisions; and costly facilities-related expenditures due to poor educational and facilities planning.
    (l) The State Board of Education and the school district shall provide administrative support to the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force.
    (m) After recommendations have been issued, the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force shall meet at least once annually, upon the call of the chairs, for the purpose of reviewing Chicago public schools' compliance with the provisions of Sections 34-200 through 34-235 of this Code concerning school action and facility master planning. The Task Force shall prepare a report to the General Assembly, the Governor's Office, the Mayor of the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Board of Education indicating how the district has met the requirements of the provisions of Sections 34-200 through 34-235 of this Code concerning school action and facility master planning.
(Source: P.A. 96-803, eff. 10-30-09; 97-333, eff. 8-12-11; 97-473, eff. 1-1-12; 97-474, eff. 8-22-11.)