New mask mandate for IL schools this fall and other news
There is a big divide among parents in IL (and nationally) over mask mandates. With the Delta variant surging, the CDC has recommended that all students and school employees wear masks this fall as part of a combination of strategies to combat the spread of COVID-19. This has enraged certain groups of parents who are showing up at school board meetings claiming it’s a matter of freedom, personal choice and even privacy whether their child wears a mask.
We have heard from parents on both sides of the issue and to make it clear, we at IL-FPS believe strongly in following guidance from public health experts and agencies, especially during a global pandemic that has killed over 600,000 people in this country. The covid vaccine is not yet available to children under 12 years of age, and the delta variant is highly contagious. 72,000 cases of covid were diagnosed in US children last week; up from 39,000 the week before.Read more
CPS' response to IL-FPS feedback on SOPPA guidelines
The changes to IL's Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) that passed in spring 2019 went into effect on July 1, 2021. We've been in conversation with CPS since fall of 2020 about how CPS would comply with the amendments via policy and guidelines.Read more
Comments on proposed new state testing system
The IL State Board of Education was set to approve a Request for Proposals for a $227M contract to start on July 1, 2021 to develop and administer a new state test for Illinois at its June board meeting. In response to organizing from teachers, parents and assessment experts, they announced a delay to the vote until at least August.Read more
MEDIA ALERT: Illinois Passes Landmark Recess Bill Protecting Kids' Right to Play
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2021
ILLINOIS PASSES LANDMARK RECESS BILL PROTECTING KIDS' RIGHT TO PLAY
Illinois Families for Public Schools' Advocacy Succeeds with One of Strongest Bills in U.S.
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Illinois students in grades K-5 may have 30 protected minutes of recess starting this fall thanks to the hard work of Sen. Robert J. Peters, Rep. Aarón Ortíz and parent group, Illinois Families for Public Schools (IL-FPS).Read more
ERSB passes Senate but will be mayoral-controlled hybrid until 2027
State Senator Rob Martwick passed an amended bill in the Senate yesterday which would create a hybrid board with 10 elected members and 11 appointed members starting in January 2025, with all 21 members fully elected in January 2027. This bill was a negotiation between Senator Martwick and Senator Lightford conducted by Senate President Harmon. The two sides were very far apart, and this was the bill President Harmon allowed to be called. We expect that when the IL House is called back to Springfield in a few weeks, it will pass in the House as well.
The Right to Play Bill heads to Gov. Pritzker's desk!
We are thrilled to report that the Right to Play Every Day bill is on to the Governor’s desk! After it’s signed all children in grades K-5 in public schools in IL will have 30 minutes of protected recess time during the school day starting this school year, and that schools won’t be able to take recess away as a punishment.Read more
Comments on proposed new state testing system
In April, the IL State Board of Education had on its agenda an approval of a Request for Proposals for a $227M contract to start on July 1, 2021 to develop and administer a new state test for Illinois. The test would be administered three times a year, not just once, and would cover K-2, not just 3-8th, which is what the federal government requires. The approval vote has been delayed until ISBE's June 16th meeting, but much of the pubic participation at this week's May ISBE meeting was devoted to comments on this RFP. Marty Gartzman spoke on behalf of IL Families for Public Schools.
Opting out of the SAT this spring
Comments on proposed ISBE rule for SOPPA
In 2019, the IL General Assembly passed Public Act 101-516, an update to the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA). It will go into effect on July 1, 2021. When a law is passed, often a state agency adopts new rules or regulations to help implement the law. In this case, the IL State Board of Ed (ISBE) proposed a new rule for SOPPA. We submitted a comment about the rule which you can read here.Read more
IL-FPS hosts candidate forum for Waukegan school board
School board elections are this coming Tuesday April 6th around the state (except Chicago!) IL Families for Public Schools and the Partnership for Equity and Education Rights hosted a virtual candidate forum on April 1, 2021 for Waukegan District 60 moderated by Kim Holmes, IL-FPS board member and former Waukegan school board member, and with guest speaker State Representative Rita Mayfield.Read more