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2     WHEREAS, The State of Illinois and the federal government
3 have the authority to legislate costly and complex changes to
4 elementary and secondary education; and
5     WHEREAS, The State and federal government frequently
6 advance mandates that are either not funded or under-funded and
7 without specific evidence of the need for such mandate; and
8     WHEREAS, These unfunded or under-funded mandates are
9 policies that require school district action but do not provide
10 adequate monetary or instructional resources to implement,
11 seriously undermining the ability of school districts to focus
12 their limited resources on appropriate educational activities;
13 and
14     WHEREAS, Compliance with new mandates places the financial
15 responsibility of implementing State mandates onto the local
16 taxpayers, which has resulted in a shift of percentage funding
17 from the State, from 37.8% in 2000 to 34.6% in 2008; and
18     WHEREAS, In the past 17 years, 105 unfunded or under-funded
19 education bills have become law; and
20     WHEREAS, Specifically, in 2009 alone, the General Assembly



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1 passed 74 education bills to the Governor, 19 of which, or,
2 nearly 26% were new unfunded or under-funded mandates on school
3 districts; and
4     WHEREAS, The most costly under-funded mandates on school
5 districts are special education services, which in 1975 the
6 federal government pledged to incrementally fund up to 40% of
7 the states' excess cost of the mandated programs, but never
8 upheld its commitment; and
9     WHEREAS, The 2008 Illinois State Board of Education School
10 Districts' Special Education and Expenditures and Receipts
11 Report showed that local school districts have to fill a $900
12 million gap in annual special education funding that is beyond
13 their special education tax levy because of inadequate State
14 and federal funding to meet the special education mandate; and
15     WHEREAS, Either legislating unfunded or under-funded
16 mandates must end or more effort should be made to follow the
17 dictates of the Illinois State Mandates Act to make the
18 necessary appropriations for the incurred costs attributable
19 to all state mandates that are directed to school districts;
20 therefore, be it



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1 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that a Blue Ribbon Committee on
2 Elementary and Secondary Education Mandates be established
3 within the State Board of Education to review state mandates on
4 school districts to determine whether the mandates (1) are
5 necessary for the health and safety of students in compliance
6 with federal laws, (2) are essential to the academic integrity
7 of Illinois public school systems, (3) exceed federal
8 requirements, or (4) superfluous to the core academic programs
9 of Illinois school districts; and be it further
10     RESOLVED, That the Committee shall include members from
11 organizations representing the interests of school
12 administrators, school board members, teacher unions, regional
13 superintendents, vocational education, the business community,
14 and State Board of Education personnel, and others as deemed
15 necessary by the Committee; and be it further
16     RESOLVED, That the Committee shall make recommendations to
17 the General Assembly on the elimination of unnecessary and
18 costly mandates in the School Code and the Administrative Code
19 by May 1, 2010.