“Politically Motivated” Teaching Requirements Mandated

From State Rep. Steve Reick:

ISBE to Proceed with Implementation of New Educator Licensure Standards

Steve Reick

On Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) did not move to prevent implementation of the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) proposal to enforce “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” upon Illinois educators. 

Meanwhile, according to ISBE, there are 4,500 unfilled teaching positions in Illinois.

I don’t understand how forcing extraneous, politically-motivated requirements on aspiring educators in order for them to become licensed will help shrink this shortage. For this reason, among many others, I’m profoundly disappointed that no one joined the Republican members on JCAR to prohibit the rule from being adopted. 

I have written about my concerns with these standards extensively here and here

As a member of JCAR and as your state representative, I’ve tried to sound the alarm not only in McHenry County but across the state and beyond.

Nationally, the problems with these standards have been covered by the Washington Post and the National Review.

Our call to action generated astounding engagement from thousands of you.

The momentum that you helped create and sustain did result in change: ISBE was amenable to slight modifications. 

Specifically, the standards were amended to require prospective educators to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of a “balance of viewpoints” instead of “progressive viewpoints”.

Notwithstanding, the final version remains an overreach far beyond the state’s basic role of licensing qualified educators.

I’ve learned that when the Executive Branch can’t accomplish its goals through legislation, it resorts to Agency “rulemaking” by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats that often goes unnoticed.

Not this time.

We ignited a firestorm.

You may find yourself wondering “what now?”

As far as next steps are concerned, I’m going to let you in on a secret: unless you exercise your power, undesirable outcomes like this will be inevitable.

Things like this will continue to happen.

How can you exercise your power?

Make sure that your local school board knows that you’re out there, paying attention.

Attend a school board meeting.

Contact the members of the school board and weigh in on the work they’re doing.

These standards don’t take effect until 2025.

The truth is that you have more power than you think you do.

But unless you exercise it, you won’t have it for long. 

Pritzker’s Budget Proposal Places Burden on Families and Job Creators

Also on Wednesday, Gov. Pritzker (virtually) delivered his combined “State of the State” and budget address, outlining his proposed budget for fiscal year 2022, which begins July 1.

Unsurprisingly, he shirked his constitutional duty to present a budget that must balance spending with estimated revenue available for the fiscal year.

He laid out a $41.6 billion dollar budget, but the math simply doesn’t add up.

His proposed budget relies on extending repayments of state borrowing and moving money around.

He is foolishly counting on federal aid that remains to be seen. 

The Governor went back on his word and is reversing all the common sense reforms the House Republicans worked to have incorporated into his budget proposal just two years ago.

What he professes as “closing corporate loopholes” is really a tax increase on job creators.

He intends to eliminate nearly $1 billion dollars in economic incentives that are needed now more than ever to help rebuild our economy.

But his speech was just that: a speech.

It was an outline of his priorities and the starting point at which negotiations will now begin between the four legislative caucuses.

With Democratic supermajorities in both chambers and a Democratic Governor at the helm, we will be in for a fight. 

In other news, after serving as a state lawmaker for 50 years, former House Speaker Mike Madigan announced his resignation from the legislature on Thursday.

Madigan remains chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois and Democratic committeeman for the 13th Ward.

The latter role ensures that he will be able to handpick his successor as the state representative for the 22nd House district.

I don’t expect that there will be a kumbaya overnight between lawmakers on the left and right sides of the aisle.

After all, our suggested means of achieving our vision for a better Illinois are drastically different.

But I do hope that this development will mark a new day for our state–financially, politically, and ethically.


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