Happy Friday all!
Illinois passes landmark education reform
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Illinois state legislature has passed a substantial education reform bill. The legislation severely restrains the power of the teachers’ unions:
The measure continues to allow unions to strike in Chicago and the suburbs, but it imposes a requirement that school boards and unions take longer to negotiate and publicly disclose their bargaining positions before a strike can be launched.
In Chicago, no strikes could occur until as long as 120 days after the dispute goes to a special panel — and then, only if the Chicago Teachers Union has given a 10-day notice of a strike and has 75 percent of its bargaining unit members in agreement. Currently, a strike only requires a simple majority of everyone who votes.
The legislation would let the Chicago Board of Education lengthen the school day or school year unilaterally.
It also would empower Downstate and suburban school districts to use performance, not strictly seniority, in determining teacher layoffs and impose first-ever performance benchmarks for teachers to gain tenure.