Illinois House Bill 4994 is now awaiting the signature of Gov. J.B. Pritzker after passing both chamber of the Illinois General Assembly.
The legislation, which was initiated by the Illinois Education Association, would track which Illinois school districts are not in compliance with the Illinois School Threat Assessment Law.
Both State Representatives Tony McCombie (Savanna-R) and Fred Crespo (Hoffman Estates-D) worked with the Illinois Education Association to sponsor the bill.
“In a situation like what happened in Michigan, the threat assessment team would have been called upon and intervened to get the student the help they needed before tragedy occurs. That is the intent of this law,” McCombie said. “The children of our state are our most important asset. We must ensure threat assessment plans are not only created but reviewed and followed to keep our students safe.”
The Illinois Education Association, back in 2019, initiated and the state legislature passed the School Threat Assessment Law. What the law does is:
- Expands the use of the 1-cent county sales tax to include school safety improvements, school resource officers or mental health professionals, or allow a district to issue bonds, borrow money or find other ways to pay for the similar needs.
- Instructs schools to develop a threat assessment team and a threat assessment protocol.
- Calls for each district to review each school building’s emergency and crisis response plans, protocols and procedures and the make-up of its team.
- Requires school districts to implement a threat assessment procedure that may be part of a school board policy on targeted school violence and prevention, which must include the creation of a threat assessment team made up of specific people.
- Requires each district’s assessment team to include mental health professionals as well as representatives from state, county and local law enforcement agencies.