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(105 ILCS 5/22-90)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on February 1, 2023)
Whole Child Task Force.
(a) The General Assembly makes all of the following findings:
(1) The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed systemic
inequities in American society. Students, educators, and families throughout this State have been deeply affected by the pandemic, and the impact of the pandemic will be felt for years to come. The negative consequences of the pandemic have impacted students and communities differently along the lines of race, income, language, and special needs. However, students in this State faced significant unmet physical health, mental health, and social and emotional needs even prior to the pandemic.
(2) The path to recovery requires a commitment from
adults in this State to address our students cultural, physical, emotional, and mental health needs and to provide them with stronger and increased systemic support and intervention.
(3) It is well documented that trauma and toxic
stress diminish a child's ability to thrive. Forms of childhood trauma and toxic stress include adverse childhood experiences, systemic racism, poverty, food and housing insecurity, and gender-based violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues and brought them into focus.
(4) It is estimated that, overall, approximately 40%
of children in this State have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience and approximately 10% have experienced 3 or more adverse childhood experiences. However, the number of adverse childhood experiences is higher for Black and Hispanic children who are growing up in poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the number of students who have experienced childhood trauma. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted preexisting inequities in school disciplinary practices that disproportionately impact Black and Brown students. Research shows, for example, that girls of color are disproportionately impacted by trauma, adversity, and abuse, and instead of receiving the care and trauma-informed support they may need, many Black girls in particular face disproportionately harsh disciplinary measures.
(5) The cumulative effects of trauma and toxic stress
adversely impact the physical health of students, as well as their ability to learn, form relationships, and self-regulate. If left unaddressed, these effects increase a student's risk for depression, alcoholism, anxiety, asthma, smoking, and suicide, all of which are risks that disproportionately affect Black youth and may lead to a host of medical diseases as an adult. Access to infant and early childhood mental health services is critical to ensure the social and emotional well-being of this State's youngest children, particularly those children who have experienced trauma.
(6) Although this State enacted measures through
Public Act 100-105 to address the high rate of early care and preschool expulsions of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and the disproportionately higher rate of expulsion for Black and Hispanic children, a recent study found a wide variation in the awareness, understanding, and compliance with the law by providers of early childhood care. Further work is needed to implement the law, which includes providing training to early childhood care providers to increase their understanding of the law, increasing the availability and access to infant and early childhood mental health services, and building aligned data collection systems to better understand expulsion rates and to allow for accurate reporting as required by the law.
(7) Many educators and schools in this State have
embraced and implemented evidenced-based restorative justice and trauma-responsive and culturally relevant practices and interventions. However, the use of these interventions on students is often isolated or is implemented occasionally and only if the school has the appropriate leadership, resources, and partners available to engage seriously in this work. It would be malpractice to deny our students access to these practices and interventions, especially in the aftermath of a once-in-a-century pandemic.
(b) The Whole Child Task Force is created for the purpose of establishing an equitable, inclusive, safe, and supportive environment in all schools for every student in this State. The task force shall have all of the following goals, which means key steps have to be taken to ensure that every child in every school in this State has access to teachers, social workers, school leaders, support personnel, and others who have been trained in evidenced-based interventions and restorative practices:
(1) To create a common definition of a
trauma-responsive school, a trauma-responsive district, and a trauma-responsive community.
(2) To outline the training and resources required to
create and sustain a system of support for trauma-responsive schools, districts, and communities and to identify this State's role in that work, including recommendations concerning options for redirecting resources from school resource officers to classroom-based support.
(3) To identify or develop a process to conduct an
analysis of the organizations that provide training in restorative practices, implicit bias, anti-racism, and trauma-responsive systems, mental health services, and social and emotional services to schools.
(4) To provide recommendations concerning the key
data to be collected and reported to ensure that this State has a full and accurate understanding of the progress toward ensuring that all schools, including programs and providers of care to pre-kindergarten children, employ restorative, anti-racist, and trauma-responsive strategies and practices. The data collected must include information relating to the availability of trauma responsive support structures in schools as well as disciplinary practices employed on students in person or through other means, including during remote or blended learning. It should also include information on the use of, and funding for, school resource officers and other similar police personnel in school programs.
(5) To recommend an implementation timeline,
including the key roles, responsibilities, and resources to advance this State toward a system in which every school, district, and community is progressing toward becoming trauma-responsive.
(6) To seek input and feedback from stakeholders,
including parents, students, and educators, who reflect the diversity of this State.
(c) Members of the Whole Child Task Force shall be appointed by the State Superintendent of Education. Members of this task force must represent the diversity of this State and possess the expertise needed to perform the work required to meet the goals of the task force set forth under subsection (a). Members of the task force shall include all of the following:
(1) One member of a statewide professional teachers'
(2) One member of another statewide professional
(3) One member who represents a school district
serving a community with a population of 500,000 or more.
(4) One member of a statewide organization
representing social workers.
(5) One member of an organization that has specific
expertise in trauma-responsive school practices and experience in supporting schools in developing trauma-responsive and restorative practices.
(6) One member of another organization that has
specific expertise in trauma-responsive school practices and experience in supporting schools in developing trauma-responsive and restorative practices.
(7) One member of a statewide organization that
represents school administrators.
(8) One member of a statewide policy organization
that works to build a healthy public education system that prepares all students for a successful college, career, and civic life.
(9) One member of a statewide organization that
brings teachers together to identify and address issues critical to student success.
(10) One member of the General Assembly recommended
by the President of the Senate.
(11) One member of the General Assembly recommended
by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(12) One member of the General Assembly recommended
by the Minority Leader of the Senate.
(13) One member of the General Assembly recommended
by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
(14) One member of a civil rights organization that
works actively on issues regarding student support.
(15) One administrator from a school district that
has actively worked to develop a system of student support that uses a trauma-informed lens.
(16) One educator from a school district that has
actively worked to develop a system of student support that uses a trauma-informed lens.
(17) One member of a youth-led organization.
(18) One member of an organization that has
demonstrated expertise in restorative practices.
(19) One member of a coalition of mental health and
school practitioners who assist schools in developing and implementing trauma-informed and restorative strategies and systems.
(20) One member of an organization whose mission is
to promote the safety, health, and economic success of children, youth, and families in this State.
(21) One member who works or has worked as a
restorative justice coach or disciplinarian.
(22) One member who works or has worked as a social
(23) One member of the State Board of Education.
(24) One member who represents a statewide
(25) One member who represents a statewide
organization of school boards.
(26) One member who has expertise in
(27) One member who represents a school social
(28) One member who represents an organization that
represents school districts in both the south suburbs and collar counties.
(29) One member who is a licensed clinical
psychologist who (A) has a doctor of philosophy in the field of clinical psychology and has an appointment at an independent free-standing children's hospital located in Chicago, (B) serves as associate professor at a medical school located in Chicago, and (C) serves as the clinical director of a coalition of voluntary collaboration of organizations that are committed to applying a trauma lens to their efforts on behalf of families and children in the State.
(30) One member who represents a west suburban school
(d) The Whole Child Task Force shall meet at the call of the State Superintendent of Education or his or her designee, who shall serve as as the chairperson. The State Board of Education shall provide administrative and other support to the task force. Members of the task force shall serve without compensation.
(e) The Whole Child Task Force shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the State Board of Education, and the Governor on or before February 1, 2022. Upon submitting its report, the task force is dissolved.
(f) This Section is repealed on February 1, 2023.
(Source: P.A. 101-654, eff. 3-8-21.)