Which bills are a top priority? Take our quick survey!

IL Families for Public Schools wants to hear from you about which legislation you think is a top priority this session! There are a number of important bills already introduced or being filed now, and we want to know what you would most like to see passed—and also what you’d like to help support.

You can read the list of bills here, and then take the survey here and indicate your level of interest in each. At the beginning of the survey you can also let us know if you are interested in volunteering to get more involved in working on any of these bills. (If you have difficulty with the survey interface, you can use this form instead.)

With the uncertainty around the pandemic and vaccination schedules, we are not sure how active the legislature will be during the spring session, but we’re hoping that legislators get more done this year than they did last year. And also note that things change rapidly in Springfield; this isn’t an exhaustive list of what will be introduced this year and what will need our support (or opposition!)

We’re also going to be doing a two-part virtual training soon on how to be an effective advocate! Advocating in the Zoom era is different from in-person advocacy, and we’ll have tips for you. Email us if you're interested: [email protected].

New rules on culturally responsive teaching standards

The Illinois State Board of Education has proposed a rule change which would include more culturally responsive teaching and learning standards in teacher prep programs, the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards. Unfortunately, some IL legislators want to block the passage of these rules. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules will be taking a vote on it in the JCAR committee tomorrow. We submitted testimony in support of the rules passage and have info in this post about how you can too if you’re interested.

You can read an op-ed from new IL State Senator Christina Pacione-Zayas, who previously served on ISBE, about why ISBE developed these standards and why our public schools will benefit from them.

Continuing to push for an elected representative school board

Mayor Lori Lightfoot again indicated in a New York Times article over the weekend that she’s not in support of a fully elected school board for Chicago, a promise which she campaigned on, including in writing in our mayoral candidate questionnaire. This is very disappointing, and it means we need to put on even more pressure on the IL General Assembly to pass this bill. It passed in the House last session but was not called in the Senate by Senate President Don Harmon.

We need to make our voices heard (again!) this session to get this done. Share our Lincoln’s birthday-themed flyer on social media today for this President’s Day themed flyer in support of a democratically-elected Chicago Board of Ed!