neaToday Express


LGBTQ educators share their stories

‘We Need to Make it Better Now.’

To mark the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, NEA invited six educators to share the triumphs, trials, and tribulations of being LGBTQ+ in the classroom.


Need a Substitute? Get Out Your Checkbook.

When a teacher battling cancer had to pay for her own substitute, parents were outraged. But the problem is much bigger than that.



Punished for Speaking Up for Her Students.

“Now my union is speaking for me,” says counselor Kris Bertsch-Rydell.


whole child

The Whole Child Approach Gains Momentum.

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires every educator and an integrated approach to include social, emotional, and academic learning. And the federal government wants to help to the tune of $260 million.


pay it forward

Every Day, Educators Pay it Forward. Now it’s Your Turn.

Watch our latest video, showing the millions of payments you make every day, and the reasons you should be paid more.


school closings

Is Racism the Reason Behind School Closures?

The justifications often used to shut down schools ignore the voices of black parents and students—and traumatize students and communities.


5 things to do over the summer

Five Things Educators Can Do Over the Summer.

Number 1: Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about having this time.


Works4Me: Ideas and Tips By Teachers, For Teachers

How to Recover After a School Crisis

Join us Thursday, June 13, online at 8 p.m. to learn strategies for talking to students about violent tragedies, as well as preventing school violence and information for school communities who experience ongoing trauma in violent neighborhoods or environmental stressors. Sign up for this free webinar here.


News You Can Use

  • Friendly Reminder:  Seeking interested members for 2019-20 IEA Committees

o   Committee and board subcommittee appointment procedures

    • Electronic applications are available on the IEA website until May 15.

o   All applicants will be required to enter their Members Only login information.

o   Any questions, please direct them to Courtney Gillespie

–         Notice of ESP Listening Tour, May 20-24

–         NEA ESPQ WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: What You Need to Know: ESP Mentoring ESP in the Workplace


  • Restorative Practices and Prosocial Skills Training: Interested in learning more about non-exclusionary student discipline? Register today for one or both of our summer training opportunities. On day one we will learn about restorative practices as a straightforward problem-solving framework that can be used as an alternative to exclusionary discipline. On day two we will learn about prosocial skills training as an intervention designed to promote prosocial behavior in adolescents using techniques to develop social skills, emotional control, and moral reasoning. All workshops will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. Lunch and clock hours will be available. Register for one or both trainings. Space is Limited! Register Today.

Trainings will be held at the following locations:

    • June 11 & 12, Bloomington IEA Office
    • June 25 & 26, Springfield IEA Professional Development Center


  • The IEA Summer Book Study will begin on June 3. Our next book will be “The Restorative Practices Handbook for Teachers, Disciplinarians, and Administrators: Building a Culture of Community in Schools” by Bob Costello, Joshua Wachtel, and Ted Wachtel.


Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week



Please see the note below from new Board of Education President Kevin Kirberg.




Tom Hernandez

Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202

Director of Community Relations

FOIA Officer

(815) 577-4008 (desk)

(815) 514-5409 (cell)



District 202 Teachers and Staff,


The end of another school year is just around the corner. This has been another busy, successful year for District 202. We have accomplished a lot by working together and focusing on what is most important – our students, families and community.


Whether it’s academics, athletics, fine arts or full-day kindergarten, none of that success could have happened without the amazing work and commitment that our teachers and staff show to our students, families and schools.


May 6-10, 2019 is Staff/Teacher Appreciation Week, but we don’t need a calendar to know how great our teachers and staff are. The Board of Education appreciates and values what you do every day.


District 202 is very lucky to have some of the most talented teachers, support staff and administrators anywhere. Our community benefits from your talent and dedication in and out of the classroom.


On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for everything you do. You make District 202 an excellent place to learn, work and live.



Kevin Kirberg


District 202 Board of Education

Legislative Update for Illinois

IEA Legislative Update for May 3, 2019

The Fair Tax amendment SJRCA 1 moved from the Senate to the House with a full head of steam and a few pieces of baggage. If approved by the voters in November 2020, the amendment will enable the State of Illinois to have a graduated income tax. Several other proposals,which are dependent upon the passage of the amendment, moved over to the House. All three of the companion proposals contain the following language “but only if an amendment to the Illinois Constitution permitting the taxation of income at a graduated rate is adopted prior to that date by the voters of Illinois.”

SB 687 imposes a number of provisions that alter taxation on corporations and individuals:

  • For taxable years after 2021, the tax on corporations shall be imposed at the rate of 7.99% of the taxpayer’s net income for the taxable year.
  • The bill also adjusts the Local Government Distributive Fund to provide that the transfer shall be equal to 10.75% of the amount that would have been generated if the tax had been imposed at the rate of 3% for individuals, trusts and estates and at the rate of 4.8% for corporations
  • Implements a child tax credit.
  • Provides that taxpayers who are required to file a federal joint return shall file a joint return with the state.
  • Provides that the income tax credit for property taxes shall be equal to 6% (currently 5%) of real property taxes paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year on the principal residence of the taxpayer.

SB 689 relates to the Illinois Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Act and provides that no tax shall be imposed for persons dying on or after Jan. 1, 2021 or for transfers made on or after Jan. 1, 2021.

SB 690 provides that, beginning in levy year 2022, for taxing districts that are school districts (other than qualified school districts), “extension limitation” means 0% or the rate of increase approved by the voters (currently, (a) the lesser of 5% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index during the 12-month calendar year preceding the levy year or (b) the rate of increase approved by voters). The proposal defines a “qualified school district” as a school district that certifies to the county clerk that the district: (i) submitted a claim or claims to the Illinois State Board of Education for reimbursement of certain state mandated categoricals for the school fiscal year immediately preceding the levy year and received reimbursement for those state mandated categoricals that was less than 97% of the district’s claims; or (ii) did not receive the minimum funding required for that school district under the evidence-based funding formula. Requires the state board of education to certify to each school district whether or not the school district is eligible for designation as a qualified school district.

Senate committee bills 

HB1472 amends the Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code. In the provision defining “eligible employment” for the purpose of allowing a teacher to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without impairing his or her retirement status or retirement annuity and changes the ending date of the employment from no later than June 30, 2019 to no later than June 30, 2021. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the Senate Government Accountability and Pensions Committee with a vote of 9-0.

HB1554 provides that on or before Jan. 1, 2020, the Task Force shall prepare and submit a report to the General Assembly and the report shall, at a minimum: (1) recommend how the state can keep employers and jobs in Illinois; (2) identify and describe best practices to prevent outsourcing of Illinois jobs; and (3) identify employment sectors most affected by outsourcing. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the Senate Executive Committee with a vote of 16-0.

HB3096 provides that as an alternative to certain other procedures, a taxing district may increase its aggregate extension if the taxing district obtains referendum approval as provided in the amendatory Act. The IEA supportsthis bill. This bill passed out of the Senate Revenue Committee with a vote of 7-0.

HB3213 amends the Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code. In the definition of “teacher”, removes a provision specifying that an annuitant receiving a retirement annuity under the Chicago Teacher Article,who is employed by a board of education or other employer as permitted under specified provisions, is not a “teacher” for purposes of the Downstate Teacher Article. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the Senate Government Accountability and Pensions Committee with a vote of 9-0.

House committee bills

SB28 provides that for a pupil of legal school age and in kindergarten or any of grades one through 12, a day of attendance shall be counted only for sessions of not less than five clock hours of school work per day. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Curriculum & Policy Committee with a vote of 19-0.

SB1213 says each school district shall, in good faith cooperation with its teachers or, if applicable, through good faith bargaining with the exclusive bargaining representative of its teachers, develop and implement an appeals process for “unsatisfactory” ratings that includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the original rating by a panel of qualified evaluators agreed to by a joint committee that has the power to re-evaluate and re-rate a teacher who appeals. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter SchoolCommittee with a vote of 5-3.

SB1460 SA 1 Senate Committee Amendment 1 provides that if adequate funds are available, incentives under the program must include a one-time incentive of $3,000 payable to National Board certified teachers teaching in Tier 1 rural or remote school districts, an annual incentive of $3,200 for National Board certified teacher rural or remote candidate cohort facilitators, and an annual incentive of $2,500 for National Board certified teacher rural or remote liaisons. Makes the program applicable to qualified educators who are employed by, or retired from,school districts (rather than just employed by school districts) and who are in the process of obtaining licensure through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter School Committee with a vote of 8-0.

Senate chamber

SJRCA1 removes a provision that provides that a tax on income shall be measured at a non-graduated rate. Provides that the General Assembly shall provide by law for the rate or rates of any tax on or measured by income imposed by the State. Provides that the highest rate imposed on corporations may not exceed the highest rate imposed on individuals by more than a ratio of 8 to 5. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the Senate with a vote of 40-19 and moves on to the House.

Important dates

A schedule for each chamber can be found on the GeneralAssembly website.

Next week

  • Both the Senate and House are in session next week.
  • The Senate and House are scheduled to remain in session through May 31.

Letter From Lily

NEA Home
Dear Member,

Educators don’t enter the profession expecting to get rich. They do it because they love teaching and because they have an unwavering belief in their students.

But, they should also be able to support themselves. The sad truth is that many educators aren’t earning enough to make ends meet.

Today, we’re releasing our annual data on educator pay. Click here to find out how your state ranks in educator pay and per pupil spending.

How does
                                                          your state
                                                          rank? Click to
                                                          find out.

Educator Pay in Your State >
Each year, NEA publishes data on educator salaries. We collect statistics from state departments of education and 11,675 school districts, which account for 94 percent of all full-time educators.

The data show in black and white (or, in this case, red and white) the dollar value each state places on its educators.

To make matters worse, the pay gap between educators and other professionals is vast and growing, forcing many out of the profession and creating a teacher shortage crisis that threatens our students and communities.

See how much educators make on average in your state and join the movement fighting for better resources for public school educators and students.

How much we pay educators is just one indicator of the value our society places on education. As part of the Red For Ed movement, educators across the country are joining hands with parents and community members to fight for the resources public school students need to succeed like a nurse, counselor, and librarian in every school; a living wage for education support professionals; and more class time for learning.

Equipped with data like average educator pay and the teacher pay gap, we are able to better make the case that we can do better. After all, our children are worth it.


Lily Eskelsen Garcia
National Education Association

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