In light of the recent state takeover of CPS’s special education program and today’s report in the Sun-Times about potential felony-level violations of state law by a now-former member of the Chicago Board of Education, parents from Raise Your Hand Action and Parents 4 Teachers are heading to Senate President John Cullerton’s Springfield office today to demand the passage of a bill to give Chicago a fully elected, representative school board. And, yes, we do have the sad, dying Elected School Board bill on IL capitol hill right now!
This bill passed in both the House and Senate last year but has not gone through what’s called concurrence to send to the Governor’s desk. You can read the letter delivered to Sen President Cullerton here.
Our bill will be visiting various legislators asking for help in moving the bill along! Watch the our ERSB Bill on IL Capitol Hill video here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to follow our bill and hear reactions from our elected officials.
Class-size goals bill passes!
Great news! The class-size goals bill we’ve been working on, HB5481, passed in the Senate last week thanks to sponsor Senator Omar Aquino. This bill already passed in the House and will go to the Governor’s desk next. We hope he’ll sign it.
Thanks to everyone who made calls, filled out witness slips, even went to Springfield. Thanks to Representative Will Guzzardi and Senator Omar Aquino for sponsoring this bill.
This bill requires districts to share current year, individual class size data for each school and puts in goals for reduced class size starting in 2020. While it's not a mandate, if it's signed into law, it makes a statement that the General Assembly actually values smaller class sizes and will provide the data to look at where resources need to go for class size reduction. Parents shouldn't have to FOIA districts to get this info, and we won't have to anymore if this passes. Thanks, all!
Charter Commission bill passes in the Senate, goes to the House next
This bill would weaken the appointed IL state charter commission. The commission was set up to approve charter schools that local school boards don’t want. It passed in the Senate last week. Call your state reps and ask them to support HB5175. This bill would accomplish the same goals as a previous bill we supported that Rauner vetoed this winter. (Fact sheet on that bill here.)
Representative Crespo files special ed bill for parents rights
On Wednesday, Representative Fred Crespo introduced a new special ed bill in response to ISBE’s Public Inquiry. SB454-HFA3, Enhancing Parent Participation in CPS Special Education, this bill goes beyond ISBE's corrective actions for CPS's violation of federal special education law to provide additional support, transparency and accountability that families seeking a free, appropriate public education for their children with disabilities need. You can read the details of the bill and a list of organizational supporters here.
This bill has a hearing in the House Ed Committee Wednesday. A witness slip has NOT posted yet. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook- we will post a link to the witness slip as soon as it is available.
Another special education bill that needs your help!
SB3514 passed in the Senate but CPS is trying to water it down in the House. Please call the Speaker and Leader's Offices to ask them to pass SB3514 as is with no poison pill!
Speaker Michael Madigan: 217 782 5350
Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie: 217 782 8121