Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB1663
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Full Text of HB1663  95th General Assembly



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1     AN ACT concerning education.
2     Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3 represented in the General Assembly:
4     Section 5. The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Law
5 is amended by adding Section 5 as follows:
6     (105 ILCS 305/5 new)
7     Sec. 5. I-Connect Computer Technology Program.
8     (a) In this Section:
9     "Low-income students" means pupils aged 3 to 17, inclusive,
10 from families receiving public aid, living in institutions for
11 neglected or delinquent children, being supported in foster
12 homes with public funds, or eligible to receive free or
13 reduced-price lunches.
14     "Program" means the I-Connect Computer Technology Program.
15     "State Board" means the State Board of Education.
16     "Technology Board" means the I-Connect Computer Technology
17 Board.
18     (b) The General Assembly finds that in the modern,
19 knowledge-based economy of the 21st century, it is critical
20 that all students have access to modern educational technology.
21 The General Assembly further finds that universal access to
22 portable computers has been found to increase student
23 assessment test scores and encourage student and parent



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1 collaboration in learning. As provided in Section 1 of Article
2 X of the Illinois Constitution, "A fundamental goal of the
3 People of the State is the educational development of all
4 persons to the limits of their capacities." In order to ensure
5 universal access to modern educational technology, the General
6 Assembly finds it necessary to provide students in public
7 schools with access to portable computers.
8     (c) The Academy shall establish the I-Connect Computer
9 Technology Program to provide students and teachers in selected
10 classrooms of participating schools with personal portable
11 computers with age-appropriate and subject-appropriate
12 learning software, professional development, and repair and
13 warranty services.
14     (d) Subject to appropriation, beginning with the 2007-2008
15 school year and each school year thereafter, each student
16 entering the 6th grade who attends a public school
17 participating in the Program shall receive a portable computer.
18 Additionally, each participating school may designate a
19 reasonable number of classroom teachers and other teachers to
20 receive portable computers. Portable computers shall be
21 delivered to each school district and shall be the property of
22 that school district. School districts are responsible for
23 distributing the computers to students and for establishing
24 rules for student use of the computers. Each portable computer
25 must include software and other learning technologies capable
26 of being used in a classroom environment.



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1     (e) Each school participating in the Program shall receive
2 teacher technology training and professional development.
3 Teachers that take part in technology training courses,
4 seminars, or other related courses of instruction may credit
5 that time towards their continuing professional development
6 requirement, pursuant to Section 21-14 of the School Code.
7 Professional development provided in accordance with this
8 Section must be sufficient to ensure the optimal use of
9 software and other learning technologies associated with using
10 the portable computer.
11     (f) The Academy shall work with the selected schools to
12 develop appropriate plans for external and internal network
13 infrastructure improvements.
14     (g) The Academy may enter into contracts or memorandums of
15 understanding with private parties and other State agencies to
16 carry out its functions under this Section. When entering into
17 any contracts or memorandums of understanding permitted by this
18 Section, the Academy shall give preference to proposals that
19 (i) maintain the lowest achievable cost, (ii) provide the best
20 available product or service in its class, and (iii) are
21 responsive to local technology and educational concerns.
22     (h) There is created the I-Connect Computer Technology
23 Board. The Technology Board shall be comprised of 10 members as
24 follows: the Lieutenant Governor; 5 members appointed by the
25 Governor, including at least one Regional Superintendent of
26 Schools; one member appointed by the chairman of the Board of



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1 Higher Education; one member appointed by the chairman of the
2 State Board of Education; one member appointed by the president
3 of Illinois Computing Educators; and one member appointed by
4 the Illinois Principals Association.
5     (i) Each of the Governor's appointees must have a
6 background in at least one of the following areas:
7         (1) Computer technical support.
8         (2) Education administration at the grade K through 12
9     level.
10         (3) Teaching 6th through 12th grade students.
11         (4) The Illinois Century Network or other means of
12     accessing the Internet in schools.
13     Members shall serve 4-year terms, except that members
14 appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of
15 the vacated term. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner
16 as the initial appointment.
17     Technology Board members shall receive no compensation
18 other than reimbursement for necessary travel expenses that
19 shall be reimbursed through the Academy.
20     (j) When selecting schools to participate in the Program,
21 the Academy and the Technology Board shall ensure that at least
22 30% of the funds for the portable computers and infrastructure
23 be used for schools located in the City of Chicago, at least
24 30% for schools in suburban Cook, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will,
25 and DuPage Counties, and at least 30% for schools in the
26 remainder of the State. The remainder of the funds for portable



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1 computers and infrastructure may be allocated at the discretion
2 of the Academy and the Technology Board. The Academy shall
3 separately allocate necessary funds to administer the Program,
4 provide professional development, and provide all other
5 services required under this Section. Nothing in this Section
6 shall be construed to limit the number of schools that may
7 apply to participate in the Program.
8     (k) The Technology Board shall select Program participants
9 based on the following criteria:
10         (1) the ability of an applicant school to effectively
11     fulfill the Program goals;
12         (2) the ability of an applicant school to integrate the
13     portable computers into existing academic improvement
14     plans;
15         (3) the ability of an applicant school to enhance the
16     professional development of participating teachers; and
17         (4) the percentage of low-income students who attend
18     the applicant school.
19     (l) All Program participants must comply with requests from
20 the Academy and the Technology Board for information relating
21 to the annual report requirements of the Program.
22     (m) All participating schools shall designate at least one
23 teacher or administrator who shall be the liaison to the
24 Academy and the Technology Board and have the primary
25 responsibility for ensuring that computers are being used and
26 maintained.



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1     (n) No later than 30 days after the Technology Board
2 reaches a majority of members appointed, an application shall
3 be developed by the Technology Board and mailed to the
4 principal of every public school in this State that educates
5 6th grade students. The application shall without limitation
6 contain all of the following:
7         (1) A deadline for returning the application for
8     entrance into the Program.
9         (2) An inquiry into the adequacy of the applicant
10     school's infrastructure to manage the computers.
11         (3) The name of the applicant school's liaison to the
12     Academy and the Technology Board as required under this
13     Section.
14         (4) Any additional information deemed necessary by the
15     Technology Board.
16     (o) By no later than July 1 of each year, the Technology
17 Board, in conjunction with the Academy, must submit an annual
18 report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the progress
19 of the Program. The report must include without limitation all
20 of the following:
21         (1) The number of students who received portable
22     computers through the Program.
23         (2) An accounting of all State, local, and federal
24     funds used in the prior year and funds sought for the
25     coming year.
26         (3) A projection for the cost of implementing the



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1     Program in the next school year.
2         (4) The identification of software included with the
3     computers.
4         (5) The academic progress of the students using the
5     computers.
6         (6) If available, a comparison of academic progress
7     between those students using the computers in a specific
8     curriculum and those who are not.
9         (7) The quality and quantity of increased student
10     proficiency with technology.
11         (8) Teacher involvement and performance.
12         (9) Of those students taking the computers home, the
13     number of households in which a person other than the
14     student uses the computer.
15         (10) Recommendations for Program improvement.
16     (p) The I-Connect Computer Technology Fund is created as a
17 special fund in the State treasury. All funds deposited into
18 the I-Connect Computer Technology Fund shall be used, subject
19 to appropriation, by the Academy for the purposes of this
20 Section.
21     (q) The Academy may use any funds appropriated by the
22 General Assembly for the purposes of the Program as well as any
23 gift, grant, or donation given for the Program. The Academy and
24 the Technology Board may solicit and accept a gift, grant, or
25 donation of any kind from any source, including a foundation,
26 private entity, governmental entity, or institution of higher



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1 education, for the implementation and administration of the
2 Program.
3     (r) The State Board shall give preference to the Program
4 when allocating any funds it receives from any federal program
5 for educational technology. The State Board shall consult with
6 the Technology Board on funding decisions for any such
7 appropriation.
8     (s) The Academy shall use no less than 40% and no more than
9 50% of allocated funds for the Program, but no more than
10 $5,000,000, to provide continuing support for schools
11 participating in the technology immersion pilot project
12 created under Section 2-3.135 of the School Code.
13     (t) It is the sole duty of school districts, school
14 administrators, and school teachers to make decisions relating
15 to the use of portable computers provided under the Program,
16 including the determination of (i) the standards for allowing
17 students to take computers off of school property, (ii) the
18 courses or curricula best suited for the computers, and (iii)
19 the use of particular software or learning technologies.
20     Section 90. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
21 Section 5.675 as follows:
22     (30 ILCS 105/5.675 new)
23     Sec. 5.675. The I-Connect Computer Technology Fund.
24     Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1 becoming law.