2021 Illinois Legislative Briefing

The Illinois legislature is in full-swing and there are a number of bills that they are working on that will impact our schools, our kids, and their futures.

Here’s more information about these bills:

HB114/SB577: Silencing voices in school communities 

  • Our state’s charter school laws give Chicago charter public school leaders the flexibility to serve their students and give them the unique school experiences they need.
  • If passed, these bills would break school leaders’ first amendment rights – they would not be allowed to raise their voices and discuss subjects that impact their schools and students. These bills would also eliminate the ability for employees to vote privately regarding their decision to unionize.
  • You can learn more about how important charter public school autonomy here. 

HB2908/SB2497: Elected School Board

  • In Chicago, the Mayor appoints a seven-person school board, which means one person is end-game responsible for our schools. This bill would propose an elected board made up of 21 members – which would politicize the school board and allow special interests to hijack the board’s process.

On the governor’s desk: Evidence Based Funding (EBF) 

  • Illinois uses a formula to fund schools called “Evidence Based Funding”. It funds schools based on their needs, and gives school districts where more students live in poverty more funding – which should be a no-brainer! But the formula is currently being underfunded by $7 billion – meaning kids who need the most support, especially during the pandemic, are being shortchanged. We need to fully fund this formula.