State Representative Tony McCombie (Savanna) sends education legislation to the Governor for signature. This bipartisan package includes several pieces of legislation that will improve the lives of educators in Illinois. In the midst of a two-year pandemic where education became difficult, and a time where violence in schools has risen, this package tackles broad issues facing schools in Illinois.
“The COVID pandemic disrupted many aspects of our lives over the past two years, none more so than the affect it had on our schools and students. I felt it was important to tackle the issue of getting our students caught up on their education. An avenue of doing so was to remove barriers that prevented teachers and administrators from focusing on what they do best, teaching,” said McCombie.
House Bill 4256 will waive the evaluation requirements for administrators and teachers who have previously been rated as either ‘excellent’ or ‘proficient’ for the 2022-2023 school years if the Governor has declared a public health emergency.
House Bill 4257 provides that, for the 2021-2022 school year only, a professional educator licensee working in both an administrative role or an administrator working in a teaching role at least 50% of the day is exempt from completing an Illinois Administrators’ Academy course.
“Illinois has grappled for many years with a worsening teacher shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the problem worse,” said Mark Klaisner, president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools (IARSS). “We appreciate the determined leadership of Rep. McCombie and her colleagues to recognize some immediate ways to provide relief through temporarily easing evaluations and professional development requirements while schools adapt to the challenges of teaching students and staffing classrooms during a public health emergency. We look forward to working with Rep. McCombie and other legislators to continue to tackle this problem head-on.”
House Bill 4994 ensures that school districts are complying with the requirements in the School Threat Assessment law by filing their threat assessment procedure and a list identifying the members of the school district’s threat assessment team with local law enforcement and their local regional office of education, or the State Board of Education as it pertains to Chicago.
“Another major goal was to ensure that school safety standards are being upheld. Too often tragedy can strike in a place that should be a haven from violence. The passage of HB4994 codifies that schools will have in place proper safety standards to protect against threats that may seek to harm students. Schools are a place of learning. With students returning to the classroom, these proactive pieces of legislation are vital in returning schools to a place where students are safely taught and teachers can teach students that have had any learning loss,” concluded McCombie.