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Public Act 096-0803


 

Public Act 0803 96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY



 


 
Public Act 096-0803
 
HB0363 Enrolled LRB096 06022 NHT 16103 b

    AN ACT concerning education.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The School Code is amended by adding Section
34-18.37 as follows:
 
    (105 ILCS 5/34-18.37 new)
    Sec. 34-18.37. 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 final recommendations on or before October 30, 2009
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 final recommendations are submitted to
the General Assembly, the Governor, and the school district.
    (k) The final 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 final 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.
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 10/30/2009