New Omnibus Legislation Has Broad Implications for Illinois K-12 Districts

Jan 21, 2021

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On January 11, 2021, House Bill 2170 officially passed the Illinois legislature and is currently awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature.  HB 2170, which was backed by the Black legislative caucus, was designed to address equity issues in education impacting minority students.  The bill makes significant changes to high school curriculum and graduation requirements to ensure more students meet College admissions standards and have access to advanced courses.  The bill extends the eligibility timeframe for Early Intervention services, requires the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) to conduct mandatory assessment of all public school students entering kindergarten, and requires all K-12 school districts to expand their Black history curriculum.  The bill also includes incentives to address teacher shortages and promote greater educator diversity. Below provides a detailed overview of the major legislative changes impacting K-12 school districts, each of which will take effect at different times over the course of the next seven years. We address HB 2170’s proposed changes in greater detail below.