In a joint statement issued by the Governor’s Office, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Illinois Association of School Administrators , Illinois Principals Association today announced that along with the school closures being classified as ‘Act of God’ days leadership will also be ensuring all public school district employees on districts’ payrolls will get paid as if the schools were functioning normally, regardless of the district plans developed during this time. These school days will not be made up.
All employees will get paid as if they did all the normal work they would have done if schools were functioning normally. Normal pay includes salary, hourly and stipend pay, benefits, and employees will receive full and normal service credit in their pension systems.
From March 17th through March 30th, districts can expect school district employees to participate in work activities in some form. The concrete details of the work, including stipend work, that will occur during this time frame must be worked out through mutual agreement by all involved, but negotiations are directed to focus on ensuring continuity of education, providing meals, and other student support measures. If work can be done remotely, it is permissible under the agreement today and has been encouraged.
The Governor’s Office has said that no school district can unilaterally change the use of benefit days and are encouraging districts to support anyone caring for a sick family member or is sick themselves. The current law on teacher evaluation and honorable dismissal and layoff remains in full force. Districts can still call meetings and evaluations associated with those laws if necessary.
Subsequent announcements from all of the entities involved are expected to be released during the next two weeks.