Verschoore-Backed Education Reform Passes House

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

To improve educational opportunities for our children, state Rep. Pat Verschoore (D- Milan) sponsored a sweeping education reform bill that passed Thursday out of the House.

“For too long, our system has put an emphasis on the seniority of our teachers, instead of on excellence,” said Verschoore. “We need to implement reforms to ensure that our best teachers are the ones that are teaching our kids. Unfortunately, we are currently in a situation where a few bad apples make it more difficult for the many hardworking professional teachers, and we need to implement the changes that focus on getting the best teachers into our classrooms.”

Senate Bill 7, co-sponsored by Verschoore, reforms the Illinois education system by making teaching excellence a priority over seniority.  Teacher unions, reform advocates, and legislators came together to create the groundbreaking legislation  If this bill becomes law, teacher performance evaluations will be used to highlight the differences between teachers that continue to need improvement and professional development versus teachers that are proficient in their classroom instruction.

Another key element of the legislation is that it changes the collective bargaining and striking requirements for school districts, so that strikes are no longer a disruption to students’ education.   Advocates believe that making the negotiation process more accountable and transparent will help ensure that contract negotiations are fair and result in better quality teachers for our children.

“To make sure our students are competitive in the global market, we need to do what we can to prepare them and hold teachers accountable,” said Verschoore. “We have seen research that says that student learning is most affected by teacher effectiveness. These reforms will help put us on track to makes sure we have the best teachers preparing our children for the future.”

Senate Bill 7 passed the Senate 54-0 and passed out of the House 112-1-1. The legislation now moves to the Governor for further consideration.  For more information on this or any legislation, please contact Rep. Verschoore’s full-time constituent services office at (309) 558-3612.