Synopsis As Introduced Amends the School Code and the Counties Code. Provides that it is a State's Attorney's duty to notify the State Superintendent of Education upon the conviction of any individual known to possess a certificate issued under the School Code of any of certain offenses or any other felony conviction. In the criminal history records check provisions of the School Code, makes changes concerning the offenses for which a school board may not knowingly employ a person. Provides that no one may be certified to teach or supervise in the public schools who has been convicted of certain offenses (instead of providing that in determining good character, any felony conviction of an applicant may be taken into consideration, but such a conviction shall not operate as a bar to registration). In provisions concerning suspension or revocation of a certificate, provides that the State Superintendent of Education has the exclusive authority to initiate the suspension of up to 5 calendar years or revocation of any certificate (instead of providing that a certificate may be suspended for a period not to exceed one calendar year by the regional superintendent of schools or for a period not to exceed 5 calendar years by the State Superintendent). With respect to certificate suspension and revocation, makes changes concerning an investigation, notice, a hearing, an appeal, and the offenses that are grounds for suspension and revocation. Makes other changes.
Deletes everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the contents of the bill, but makes changes concerning the notification a State's Attorney must provide; the prohibition against a school board employing a person who has been convicted of a specified offense; a superintendent providing notification with respect to a certificate holder and an abused or neglected child; the determination of good character with respect to certification; suspension or revocation of a certificate, including abuse or neglect of a child, a hearing, judicial review, cooperating in an investigation of alleged misconduct, confidentiality and non-disclosure of information, and the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers; the definition of a "narcotics offense"; and removing a reference to a regional superintendent of schools suspending a certificate. Further amends the School Code to require that teachers' institutes include teacher training committed to educator ethics and teacher-student conduct and to require a school board, at least once every 2 years, to conduct in-service training on educator ethics, teacher-student conduct, and school employee-student conduct for all personnel.
Senate Floor Amendment No. 2 In the Section of the Counties Code concerning the powers and duties of a State's attorney, changes a reference from "the superintendent of the employing school district" to "the superintendent of the employing school board". With respect to the criminal history records check provisions of the School Code, makes changes concerning an exception to the confidentiality and non-disclosure requirement and a superintendent's immunity from liability. In the Section of the School Code concerning suspension or revocation of a certificate, (i) provides that the State Superintendent of Education is under no obligation to initiate an investigation if the Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the same or substantially similar allegations and its child protective service unit has not made its determination as required under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act; (ii) provides that the standard of proof for any administrative hearing held pursuant to the Section shall be by the preponderance of the evidence; (iii) provides that failure of a certificate holder to comply with a duly-issued, investigatory subpoena may be (instead of is) grounds for revocation, suspension, or denial of a certificate; and (iv) makes changes concerning an exception to the confidentiality and non-disclosure requirement. In the Section of the School Code concerning conviction of certain offenses as grounds for revocation of a certificate, restores current law with respect to the offense of public indecency being defined as a sex offense.
House Committee Amendment No. 1 Removes amendatory language that refers to rules adopted by the State Board of Education. Provides that there is no rulemaking authority under the amendatory Act, but that the Governor may suggest rules by filing them with the General Assembly and requesting that the General Assembly authorize such rulemaking by law, enact the suggested rules into law, or take other appropriate action in the General Assembly's discretion.