Dispatch from Springfield or Why A Grassroots Public Ed Advocacy Group Needs to Be in Springfield on the Regular:
First, thank you to everyone who shared our posts today, who signed up to be a recurring donor (woot!), and who on top of that made phone calls to Speaker Madigan and your own state rep about the bill to weaken the state charter commission, HB5175.
This is such an important bill! (You can read our fact sheet about this bill under an earlier bill number here.) Right now we have a state-level appointed commission with the power to overrule the decision of your local, elected board (or unelected board in the case of Chicago, alas, story for a different post) and force your district to spend public tax dollars to open or keep open a privately-run school that will have no local accountability whatsoever.
This is not good public policy.
Parents and public school supporters have been opposing this commission since it was set up, and parents have been advocating for this bill to pass for at least five years.
Now some inside baseball on what's happening to the latest version of this bill, HB5175: The House voted successfully two weeks ago to override Gov. Rauner's veto of HB5175. But a motion was made by a Republican rep to reconsider the vote; this means that House has to vote on a motion to revote on the bill.
This procedural vote could have taken place immediately so the bill could go on to the Senate for another override vote.
But instead no procedural vote was held at all. RYH Action co-directors Wendy Katten and Cassie Creswell were in Springfield today and did some literal legwork, running up and down the stairs of the Capitol, to hunt down the answers on what is needed to get this bill moving again. Basically, there needs to be a vote on the motion, and the motion needs to fail. Then the bill can move to the Senate.
1) Call the Speaker's office in the a.m. and demand that this bill moves to the Senate immediately. (217) 782-5350
2) Call your state rep and tell them to vote no on this motion to reconsider. (bit.ly/yourILGA)
3) Call your state senator and tell them to vote yes to override the veto of this bill when it gets to the Senate. (bit.ly/yourILGA)
Let us know how your calls go via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or @ us on Twitter: @ryhaction.