Senate Bill 2710 extends a school safety measure that covers public schools to the state’s approximately 1,800 private schools.
Gov. Pat Quinn has signed three new pieces of legislation that aim to help increase safety, ensure crisis planning and provide security improvements at Illinois schools.
“Nothing is more important than keeping our classrooms safe,” Quinn said. “Preparation and knowledge are part of that curriculum – preparing for emergencies we hope will never occur, and knowing what to do if confronted with a crisis.”
Senate Bill 2710 extends a school safety measure that covers public schools to the state’s approximately 1,800 private schools. A law proposed and signed by Quinn last year requires school districts to conduct an annual safety drill, in conjunction with law enforcement officials, which prepares students for potential shooting situations. That law requires public school districts to do an annual review in light of that drill of each school’s emergency and crisis plans and procedures. Senate Bill 2710 requires that private schools conduct that same annual review of their crisis plans to better protect the 300,000 private school students in Illinois. The legislation is effective immediately.
Senate Bill 2934 makes one of Quinn’s initiatives to fund school safety improvements an official part of state statutes. Earlier this year the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) awarded $25 million for security improvements to public K to 12 schools. The legislation allows this school safety program to continue when funds are available and adds private K-12 schools, area vocational centers, regional safe schools and public colleges and universities to the list of eligible schools. The new law is effective immediately.
House Bill 5716, sponsored by state Rep. Rich Brauer (R-Petersburg) and state Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), allows public school districts to make updated emergency and crisis plans available to first responders, teachers and administrators through electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops. The legislation is effective Jan. 1.