A press release from State Rep. Barbara Wheeler:
Wheeler Appointed to Education Committee Will serve on eight committees in 98th GA
Springfield, IL…Drawing on her experience in primary education as a middle school teacher, State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has been seated on the House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.
Rep. Wheeler taught middle school at Wauconda Middle School and holds a Master’s Degree in Education, Language, and Literacy from National Louis University.
“Education and the development of our young minds has always been a passion of mine,” said Wheeler. “Illinois is home to some of the finest institutions in the nation. I want us to build off our strengths while addressing our educational weaknesses as we prepare our children for their future.”
Wheeler says her priorities on Elementary & Secondary Education Committee include enhancing college preparedness and attacking Illinois’ high truancy rate.
Wheeler notes that while Illinois has a high college attendance rate, our preparedness rate is surprisingly low.
Just 19.3% of high school juniors met readiness scores in all four subjects tested on the ACT in 2010.
This issue is being further exasperated by a growing truancy rate.
Of the 30,000 students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools, 7.4% were labeled “chronically truant” in 2011; nearly double the rate from the previous year.
“While there are many fine aspects our education system in Illinois offers, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order for us to serve the best interests of our students,” said Wheeler.
“Truancy is an ever growing problem in Illinois and the trend needs to be reversed. We need to ensure that our children are growing and learning in a safe environment that will give them all the tools available for a bright future.”
Overall, Wheeler will be serving on eight committees in the 98th General Assembly.
In addition to the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, Wheeler will be serving on the
- House International Trade & Commerce
- Appropriations-Human Services
- Mass Transit
- Museums, Arts & Cultural Enhancement
- Adoption Reform
- State Government Administration
- Transportation: Regulation, Roads & Bridges Committees
“Serving on eight committees should prove to be quite an undertaking, but I am excited to be given such a responsibility as a freshman representative,” said Wheeler.
“These committees have much to offer the people of the 64th District and I am hoping to maximize the benefits for the people I represent.”
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I believe it is a deliberate strategy of House Speaker Mike Madigan to keep members busy running around from committee meeting to committee meeting to limit the ability of members to think and confer with colleagues.
And, of course, that’s only an ancillary benefit to being able to pay most of his members extra money for being committee chairmen.
Committee Spokesmen also get extra pay.