Illinois high school students will have to learn how to conduct cardio pulmonary resuscitation and operate automatic external defibrillators under a new law passed by the legislature.
The measure passed Tuesday was sponsored by State Sen. John Mulroe. The Chicago Democrat says the legislation could help save lives.
The legislation was prompted by the 2008 death of St. Charles High School student Lauren Laman during a drill team practice. Laman’s parents say her life may have been saved if her teammates were properly trained to use an automatic external defibrillator, or AED.
Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will sign the bill into law.
* And in the same committee…
An Illinois Senate committee has amended a far-reaching education funding bill with a provision allowing local school districts to opt out of dozens of instructional mandates, including driver’s education.
The amendment was made Tuesday to SB 16, which may be headed for an even greater revision Wednesday afternoon in another Senate committee.
There, said sponsor Sen. Andy Manar, R-Bunker Hill, the legislation’s existing language will be replaced with an entirely new bill.
Senate Bill 16 aims to tackle the inequities in the state’s funding of public education by rewriting the school funding formula based on student need—a move that inherently creates “winner” and “loser” districts.
Manar’s newest amendment gives school districts the opportunity to skip out on the instruction of the following topics: drivers’ education; daily physical education; avoiding abduction; internet safety; the Holocaust and genocides; black history; women’s history; United States’ history; disability history; the disability rights movement; charter school education; consumer education; natural resources; steroid use and prevention; requirements applicable to sex education courses; patriotism and representative government; and violence prevention and conflict resolution.
It would also allow schools to stop observing certain holidays—Leif Erickson Day, Arbor Day, Bird Day, American Indian Day, Illinois Law Week, “Just Say No” Day—as well as watching a Congressional Medal of Honor film.
Those exemptions would be available to all school districts across the state for school years 2014, 2015 and 2016. After those three years, Manar said he thought it would be good to assess the impact of those changes.
* But the Republicans were not satisfied…
State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said it was curious that the panel was debating an elimination of mandated programs just minutes after signing off on two new mandates.
“There’s a complete irony here right now,” Rose said.
Rose added that eliminating some of the mandates would not result in any significant savings for school districts.
“The monetary value of Leif Erickson Day is zero,” Rose said.