The General Assembly is back in session tomorrow in Springfield. This is likely to be a whirlwind three-day session covering a very barebones legislative agenda compared to a normal spring. (Politico shared this list of bills/topics on Tuesday.)
And, unfortunately, other than the state budget for Fiscal Year 2021, it's likely that not that much directly relevant for K-12 schools will be tackled.
Forty-three states, including Illinois, have closed K-12 schools for the remainder of the year. Mass closures and a sudden switch to crisis schooling from a distance have prompted reflections on the crucial role of schools for children and communities. It’s also prompted speculation about what changes might take place longer term as a result of the closings and the pandemic.
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The Illinois State Board of Education held four meetings this fall around the state to gather input on its budget for fiscal year 2021. You can see the budget for FY2020 as enacted here. Below you can read the testimony we submitted about our concerns about the funds to be appropriated for assessments to two test vendors, Pearson and the College Board.
It’s nine school days into a Chicago teacher and staff strike, the second day of fall veto session in Springfield, and a great time to call your state senator and ask why Chicago families are still waiting for an elected, representative school board. (Find your state senator’s phone number here!)Read more
This Wednesday was to be a big day in Springfield as the House was expected to vote to override Governor Rauner's veto of SB1. But now Wednesday's session has been cancelled because "progress" has been made in talks between the legislative leaders. A compromise bill could include establishment of a voucher program in Illinois. What can you do?Read more
After Gov. Rauner's amendatory veto on Aug 1st, Raise Your Hand Action is in the governor's hometown of Winnetka canvassing to let people know that SB1 is not a CPS bailout.Read more
At this darkest time of year with a gloomy political climate to match, your legislators and governor will appreciate hearing from the people closest to their own heart/political fate—their constituents!Read more
On Wednesday October 12th, we were thrilled to hear that plans to build a new selective enrollment high school, the project known as Obama Prep, were postponed indefinitely. This frees up $60 million in tax increment financing funds---$30 million of which can go back to CPS as part of a TIF surplus.Read more