Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Waylon

Why keep on running, just to wish on a star
Searching for Heaven, when I know where you are

  Comments Off      

Afternoon roundup

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Isabel posted this SJ-R story earlier today

Thomas B. Adams Jr., faces time in prison but wouldn’t change a thing about his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. […]

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta set Adams’ sentencing hearing for June 16. He is out on his own recognizance.

“I wouldn’t change anything I did,” Adams told The State Journal-Register outside of his Ridge Avenue home Wednesday. “I didn’t do anything. I still to this day, even though I had to admit guilt (in the stipulation), don’t feel like I did what the charge is.”

Associated Press today

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ordered an Illinois man convicted this week to explain why the judge shouldn’t vacate his conviction after he agreed in court that he participated in the riot and then told a newspaper he didn’t actually think he committed the crimes with which he was charged.


…Adding… More

In a brief order Friday morning, Mehta gave both sides one week to explain “why the court should not vacate Defendant’s convictions of guilt in light of his post-stipulated trial statements” included in the article. The judge also attached a copy of the news report.

* From the Macon County hearing on Rep. Dan Caulkins’ push for a TRO on the assault weapons ban law…

You may recall that Caulkins put together a new kinda/sort group (not registered with the state) for this lawsuit.


As of last night, 883 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 121 patients were in the ICU and 41 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 86 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

* Money…

* Michael Sacks-funded PAC…

* I think I kinda like this approach. On one side, it looks like a hit piece, but turn it over and…

* Greg Bishop recently interviewed Shannon Adcock of Awake IL

Bishop: It’s now gotten to the point where we’ve got school board races coming up and Awake Illinois is very much involved in trying to get candidates in places. How’s that going? And tell us about some of the things you’re accomplishing.

Adcock: Yeah, it’s so amazing. So never before has there been a grassroots effort to support school board candidates that are for kids, for communities for academics, and this is where we really launched. Two days after I lost my own school board race, I said, oh, people need better help when they run for this particular office. So that’s when Awake IL lauched, two days after the 2021 school board elections. And now we have over, we’ve got dozens. We had dozens of school board races that we’re helping. We’re empowering candidates to know what it takes to be a school board member ,what the Open Meetings Act is about, what it’s going to take to really connect with your community and to know what issues are affecting them. Is it their property taxes, is it the curricula? Is it the busing contracts? You know, how do you get the message from the community to know how to best represent the community, because unfortunately, too many times people get elected to this role and they bow to government mandates, as it turns out, has been proven illegal. Thank you, Thomas DeVore in the masking case. So you know, it’s important that they know exactly how their community is expecting them to govern and be stewards of their tax dollars and they’re so ready to represent kids and community and put that ahead of the politics and the special interest and the teacher unions. So I think you’re gonna see a massive wave of really, really good grassroots community members run and win their seats for school board. It’s the most important race that people are going to have this year.

Some background on this group from last year

Last month, former Chicago Public Schools CEO and second-time mayoral candidate Paul Vallas spoke at a fundraiser for Awake Illinois, a group that has been criticized for its transphobic and homophobic rhetoric. 

The group hosted a fundraiser in Naperville about school choice in June, and Vallas was a featured panelist. In addition to promoting school choice, the nonprofit has opposed COVID safety protocols in schools, and the teaching of what it calls “critical race theory.” Last month, the group called Governor J.B. Pritzker a “groomer,” a term increasingly used as an anti-LGBTQ+ slur by the far right, after he signed a sex-ed bill. 

In July, Awake Illinois and other right-wing groups publicly maligned UpRising Bakery and Cafe in suburban Lake of the Hills for planning a family-friendly drag show. The bakery was subsequently vandalized, and the bakery’s owners canceled the show as a result. Joseph Collins, a 24-year-old from Alsip, was later charged with a felony hate crime and criminal damage to property. […]

Vallas added that he thinks the school-choice movement “has got to find natural allies” such as police unions and conservatives and build coalitions with them to “advance a pure school choice agenda.”

Vallas eventually distanced himself from the group.

* I dunno. Is it me or does Chuy look like he’s just phoning this stuff in?…

…Adding… Press release…

Today, Governor JB Pritzker took the following bill action:

Bill Number: SB 1836
Description: Amends the Nurse Practice Act by making changes to contracts between foreign nurse staffing agencies, nurses, and healthcare facilities.
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediately

Bill Number: SB 2951
Description: Makes a series of changes to tax and revenue related codes.
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediately

And here’s the IMA reaction…

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) has issued the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed SB 2951 into law, strengthening the state’s efforts to encourage in-state production of electric vehicles and related components:

“This measure will make Illinois more competitive with neighboring states by creating a closing fund to encourage businesses to locate here and increasing incentives to retain employees. Manufacturers thank Gov. JB Pritzker for his leadership on this issue and praise his dedication to growing the next generation of electric vehicle, battery and semiconductor producers and suppliers in Illinois,” said Mark Denzler, President & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We are excited to build on our state’s strong history of automotive manufacturing.”

…Adding… Late news…

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Crain’s | Key Lightfoot City Council ally backs mayoral opponent: Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd, who shepherded four Lightfoot spending plans through the grueling annual budget process, is endorsing Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson at an event in her South Side ward Friday morning.

    * Sun-Times | Ja’mal Green’s marketing biz steered COVID relief loan applicants to firms faulted by Congress for turning a blind eye to PPP fraud: The mayoral hopeful’s marketing company — which also rents out coach buses — directed businesses to three lenders that were blasted last year in a congressional report. He says his payouts on those deals were “very minimal — we probably [were] getting $50 or $100 per person.”

    * WBEZ | Paul Vallas gets help in Chicago mayoral bid from ex-officer in Laquan McDonald scandal: The Vallas For Mayor political fund reported getting a contribution of $5,000 from former cop Richard E. Hagen on June 30, according to campaign finance disclosure reports. Hagen has also publicly supported Vallas on Twitter.

    * Chalkbeat | If elected Chicago mayor, Paul Vallas promises to open schools on nights and weekends, expand choice: After leaving Chicago, Vallas led school systems in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Bridgeport, Conn.   The Philadelphia School Reform Commission hired him in Philadelphia after the state took over the public school system. He made dramatic changes, but left the system with a deficit. 

    * Illinois Answers Project | BGA Sues Charter School Network For Refusing To Release Records: A lawsuit filed by the Better Government Association on March 26, 2015, in Cook County Circuit Court contends that Intrinsic violated FOIA by refusing to turn over records that would show what web sites high-ranking staff members are accessing. This request for documents “sufficient to show Internet browser activity . . . for the ten highest paid employees” is fairly standard, similarly requested from a number of public agencies in recent years, including other charter school networks.

    * Axios Chicago | Jesse White’s Best Day Ever in Chicago: We asked White to describe his perfect day in Chicago. Breakfast: “I go to Griddle 24 at Chicago and Orleans or Hashbrowns at Wells and Division. I get the liquid and gastronomical appeasement that I have enjoyed over a long period of time: bacon, eggs, hash browns with orange or grapefruit juice.” […] Morning activity: “I exercise in the gym where I live on Division, and I have been doing that for 35 years.”

    * CBS Chicago | CIA aims to inspire Chicago students with contest for $30,000: “It could be a public school, a private school, any educator, it doesn’t matter, a charter school,” said Shane Tilley, who is in charge of the “Mission Possible” competition. “All they have to do is submit a three to four-minute video.”

    * Crain’s | State AGs warn Walgreens, CVS about mailing abortion pills: A group of 20 state attorneys general, all Republicans, sent a letter to Walgreens and CVS claiming that their plans to sell abortion pills through the mail violate federal and state laws. The letter—written by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and dated Feb. 1—is co-signed by other state AGs representing Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

    * Block Club | Ruben Olivares Dedicated His Life To Helping Neighbors. Now, They’re Helping His Family After He Was Slain: Northwest Center leaders launched a GoFundMe to support Olivares’ wife and their two children, 7 and 4. It’s raised more than $13,000 as of Thursday. The 20-year-old community organization aims to support Belmont Cragin residents through housing counseling, financial literacy programs and community activism.

    * Press Release | Our Campaign Offices Attacked Overnight: Overnight on Friday, February 3rd, unidentified vandals attacked the campaign office for 1st Ward Alderman Daniel La Spata. Windows were smashed across the entire glass storefront of the temporary campaign headquarters—a former convenience grocer located at 2110 N Milwaukee Ave across the street from the historic Congress Theater building.

    * WBEZ | No driver, no bus: Inside the CTA’s campaign to put more drivers on the road: The CTA has been pushing hiring fairs as a way to fill hundreds of vacancies — vacancies it blames for service delays and filthy trains that have been testing the patience of Chicago commuters. The agency has sweetened the pot for prospective job candidates in the past few months, offering to cover the cost of taking classes ahead of the road test for the commercial drivers license, rolling out hiring bonuses and increasing starting pay.

    * Sun-Times | Charles Dunne, former union leader survived car bombing, helped others: Mr. Dunne was raised in a conservative Irish Catholic family in Andersonville that affixed holy water fonts to the doorway of every room in their home. But he’d veered off the beaten path into the eccentric home of Cynthia Fosse, whose parents, Bud and Marge, were champion ballroom dancers and whose uncle, Bob Fosse, was a legendary actor, dancer and musical director.

    * WaPo | Restaurants can’t find workers because they’ve found better jobs: Nearly three years since the coronavirus pandemic upended the labor market, restaurants, bars, hotels and casinos remain short-staffed, with nearly 2 million unfilled openings. The leisure and hospitality industry, which before the pandemic accounted for much of the country’s job growth, is still short roughly 500,000 employees from 2020 levels, even as many other sectors have recovered. But these workers didn’t disappear. A lot of them, like McGrath, who were laid off early in the pandemic, moved to behind-the-scenes office work where they are more likely to have increased flexibility, stability and often better pay.

    * WBEZ | TV is fascinated by ‘zombie’ fungus. So is this Chicago scientist.: Despite the scientific inaccuracies woven into The Last of Us’s storyline, Nelsen is happy to see fungi attracting broader curiosity. As a college student, he took a mycology class on a whim, in part because it sounded “really random and strange,” but he was “blown away by it.”

    * NBC Chicago | Chicago’s Northwest Side Community Rallies Around 8-Year-Old Girl Battling Cancer: As 8-year-old Molly Morris battles stage four cancer, support around Chicago’s Northwest Side is growing for her and her family. This weekend, several businesses on near Molly’s neighborhood will hold fundraisers to benefit her family.

    * The Triibe | Terry Hunter on working with Beyoncé, his Grammy nod and why Chicago radio doesn’t play house music: While the 65th Grammy Award nominations were being announced virtually, Hunter instead was focused on listening out for renowned Chicago poet and rapper J. Ivy’s name to be called for his seventh studio album, The Poet at The Door, which would be nominated “Best Spoken Word Poetry Album.” “I just didn’t think it would be up for consideration,” Hunter said about his “Break My Soul” remix. He added that neither he nor his team submitted the song for consideration.

    * WaPo | Netflix once said ‘love is sharing a password.’ Now users are heartbroken.: The latest backlash began after Netflix inadvertently updated its Help Center page on Wednesday for some countries, stating that users will have to connect to WiFi networks at their “primary location” at least once every 31 days to ensure their devices still have access to their account. Devices that are not associated with the account’s primary location may be blocked from Netflix, unless the account owner pays more to add an extra member.

    * Chalkbeat | Meet the Chicago educator who is a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year: The moment late last week brought veteran music teacher Anne Gray to tears, she later recounted to Chalkbeat. […] “I’m in shock,” Gray told Chalkbeat. “I’m just touched, and honored, and grateful. I’m excited for my students and the program to be recognized.”

    * Deadline | Artificial Intelligence Creates ‘Seinfeld’ Streaming Spinoff ‘Nothing, Forever’ On Twitch: The audience is rapidly increasing for “Nothing, Forever,” described as an AI-generated and nonsensical version of “Seinfeld” that streams on Twitch. Motherboard reported on the show on Tuesday. The Twitch account that the show runs on is called @watchmeforever, now has more than 83,000 followers as of early Thursday, with 11,000 or more viewers taking a look at any time.


Pritzker’s office, IDOT say consulting bills, lack of new paperwork holding up funding for Cairo Port project

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From last October 17

Governor JB Pritzker announced $3.4 million will go to a new inland port under development in Cairo.

The money is through the Rebuild Illinois capital program.

According to a release from the governor’s office, the funding, part of a more than $40 million commitment to the Alexander Cairo Port District, will help to complete federal environmental requirements and studies for the project.

“The Cairo port is one of the core pieces of Rebuild Illinois and critical to maintaining our state’s status as the transportation hub of North America,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “The project will put people to work and strengthen the local economy while giving the region the opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.”

* But according to Waterways Journal, that money has never arrived and all work has been stopped for months

A public port project in Cairo, Ill., is facing delays and an uncertain future after contracts have expired, and no funding for it has been received in more than seven months.

Minutes from the Alexander-Cairo Port District’s monthly meetings, received as part of an Illinois Freedom of Information Act request by The Waterways Journal, show that contracts with consultant Todd Ely of Ely Consulting Group in Springfield, Ill., with HDR, an engineering consultant with an office in nearby Paducah, Ky., and with all other contractors expired June 30. Additionally, they showed the district had not received any additional money for the port project since that time, and no additional actions were taken toward beginning construction.

Construction was supposed to start last year. Nope.

* I reached out to the governor’s office…

The Cairo Port project remains a priority for the Governor. The Board membership has changed from its composition in the initial years of this project and the administration has had productive conversations with the new board. In the course of our administration’s due diligence on this project, we found that there were a number of proposed expenditures by the port that were not eligible for reimbursement from the bond funded appropriation. Administration officials met with port officials in August to discuss the matter, and IDOT Secretary Osman sent the attached letter and spreadsheet informing the port of the spending that would not be eligible for reimbursement, including several consulting fees.

When funding is released it means that state has the authority to spend the money for a project. It does not mean payments have been made or invoiced. Generally, IDOT grant agreements are set up with grantees invoicing the department for reimbursable expenses. No invoices have been submitted against the $3.4 million release that was announced in the fall.

Governor Pritzker remains committed Cairo’s revival, along with countless communities throughout southern and downstate Illinois. The Governor has put tremendous focus on downstate Illinois throughout his administration and looks forward to the next steps on this project.

It is our understanding the Cairo Port Board terminated their working relationship with Mr. Ely.

Our administration has made it clear to the board the importance of this project and our expectations for urgency.

* Excerpt of a letter from Transportation Secretary Omer Osman that was sent Oct. 17 to the port district chair

The State continues to support this objective; however, it has become deeply concerning to our administration that the management of this project is over reliant on consultant support, having spent approximately $2.8 million on consulting, project and grant management, and development expertise services. This is more than half of the state funds released to date. In the future, state funds should be used for the engineering, site readiness, and environmental work necessary to complete the development of the port terminal. Minimal funds may be used for consultation services.

With respect to your request to release $7,453,000, IDOT agrees to proceed with releasing $3,378,000 of the requested funding to conduct environmental work (including permitting studies, NEPA requirements, and biological assessments), site energy modeling, utility rate negotiation and green energy procurement.

At this time, IDOT cannot approve the remaining $4,075,000 because the costs you have identified are not eligible or because you haven’t provided sufficient information to process the request. Attached is a detailed workbook that identifies the specific costs that were deemed ineligible and those that require additional information.

Based on our initial review, $2,145,000 of the submitted expenditures require more information to determine eligibility. Please submit the requested information by Monday, October 31, 2022 to ensure timely processing.

Our continued partnership and collaboration are essential for the development and implementation of this transformative investment in Southern Illinois. As such, IDOT and representatives of the Governor’s Office would like to meet to discuss the Board’s progress in securing private investment for the Port as well as expenses you have identified that require a new appropriation by the General Assembly as noted above. In the interim, my office will work to advance the next tranche of funding (totaling $3,378,000) to the Port as soon as possible.

And, according to the governor’s office, that $3.4 million will be released as soon as the state receives a submission which assures that they’re only spending the money on allowable items using bond proceeds. Click here for the above-mentioned workbook which includes an analysis of what the state says can and cannot be billed for bond projects and how much the port district was trying to bill for various things.

Ely Consulting Group, for exampled, was billing the state’s bond proceeds for $350,000 for things like “Marketing and public relations,” “Public-private partnership” coordination, etc.

Then again, I’m told the port never received a grant agreement.

…Adding… A new grant agreement was sent to the port district a couple weeks ago, I’m now told. The governor’s office believes it’ll be wrapped up soon, sans the consulting money.


How states are scrambling to address teacher shortages

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Chalkbeat

Teacher and staff shortages exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic are making it harder for Illinois school districts to find qualified teachers – especially for special education and bilingual positions, according to a new survey.

Of the Illinois school leaders from 690 school districts surveyed, 73% say they have a teacher shortage problem, 93% say the shortage is as bad or worse than last school year, 95% report receiving the same or fewer applicants for vacant positions, and 92% say they have a substitute teacher program. School leaders also said those who do apply for open roles aren’t qualified for the position.  […]

Across the state, the study found that 2,728 teacher, special education, and support staff positions were either vacant or filled with someone less qualified. While schools across Illinois are struggling to fill positions, towns and rural areas especially in east-central and west-central Illinois had more vacancies. […]

The survey found that 68% of school leaders believe incentivizing teachers to get additional endorsements will have a positive effect on recruiting and retaining teachers. To get students into the teacher pipeline and into classrooms, school leaders suggested scholarships for students, additional compensation for staff in high-need areas like special education, and increased funding for pension plans. […]

[Mark Klaisner, president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools] and other education advocates are asking the state to invest $550 million in the state’s evidence-based funding formula “to give schools the money they need for professional development for additional education.” 

Click here and you’ll see this problem is national. Shortages are reported everywhere.

* Nebraska

The surveyed revealed that the majority of unfilled and/or vacant positions were special education (19% unfilled), elementary education (15% unfilled) and career education areas (12% unfilled).

* Kentucky

Despite increases in funding at the state level for the next two years, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has 11,000 teaching positions still open in the state’s public schools. After decades of disheartening politics, the politicization of everything in schools, from bathrooms to books, low salaries, and rampant violence, college students aren’t choosing teaching as a career. […]

According to reports, 72% of the state’s teachers are either 5 years from retirement or, in their first five years of teaching, a very high turnover time. The 11,000 missing teachers represent about a quarter of the state’s total teaching workforce.

So, what are states doing about it?

* Georgia

To meet the need, Georgia is considering taking part in the federal Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. It would validate teaching licenses across state lines, so teachers wouldn’t have to get a new license if they moved states. 

* AP

Every Colorado school district, like many across the country, began 2023 understaffed. That’s caused classes to be crammed together, school bus routes to shrink, Spanish language courses to get cut from curriculums, and field trips to be nixed.

This has prompted lawmakers in Colorado and other states to suggest legislation that would get rid of relicensing requirements for teachers when they move across state lines — an oftentimes cumbersome and costly process of waiting periods, licensing fees, and expensive exams. […]

Nine other statehouses are considering joining the compact, including Hawaii, Washington, Kansas, Georgia and Mississippi. For the compact to take effect, 10 states must approve it.

The national teacher shortage, exacerbated by deep losses during the pandemic, has left states scrambling to hire and retain educators. It’s pushed school districts across the South to accept candidates without teaching certificates or formal training to staunch the losses.

More info on the compact is here.

* Staying with Colorado

State lawmakers advanced a bill this week to expand the state’s Temporary Educator Loan Forgiveness program, which was established with COVID-19 relief money and set to expire. The state senate will take up the expansion proposal next. 

Lawmakers in the state house also voted to discuss establishing educator license reciprocity with several other states in an effort to allow teachers new to Colorado to more easily enter the state’s classrooms. 

[Robert Gould, president of the Denver Classroom Teacher Association] said both proposals will help, but neither will entirely fix the school funding issue. He said the state needs to free up more money to fully fund schools and increase teacher salaries. 

But he said there’s a broader problem too: Many students today do not want to become teachers. 

On that last point, here’s a press release from the Language Learning Network

The teaching profession was once revered and considered noble for its critical role in shaping the minds of our young people and helping them develop the skills needed to succeed in life. It is now the profession that so many new and veteran teachers are leaving. However, this change did not happen overnight. The COVID-19 pandemic, overt acts of violence, and heightened and emboldened bigotry catalyzed the already-terrible circumstances under which teachers are expected to work. Teachers are simply left with two choices: continue to endure abuse or leave education. For once, teachers are prioritizing themselves and leaving their chosen profession that clearly is not choosing them. Although the problems are apparent, the education system and country continue to cry teacher “shortage” instead of giving teachers what they need and deserve.

* Connecticut

In an effort to combat the state and nationwide teacher shortage, the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education has increased enrollment and expanded its program locations.

“We’ve heard from many alumni and schools across the state and their requests for support as they battle these shortages,” Neag School Dean Jason G. Irizarry said in a press release. ” The interest in and applications for our teacher education program is high, and we’re doing everything possible to expand the pool of highly qualified teachers to meet the needs of Connecticut’s schools.”

* Pennsylvania

A new report on Pennsylvania’s teacher shortage recommends sweeping changes, affecting how teachers are prepared, paid and retained, and advocates solutions that address not only the problem but also its root causes across the system.

Student teachers should get paid, and Pennsylvania should explore models that would make it free for college students to become teachers. There should be closer partnerships between school districts and colleges, a better assessment of teacher preparation programs, and higher pay for teachers who serve as mentors.

These were among the remedies resulting from a teacher shortage summit in Harrisburg last September that drew 150 educators, policymakers and government leaders, including then-Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty.

Policy recommendations

1. Incentivize high-quality teacher preparation, characterized by rigorous coursework and intentionally designed clinical experiences developed in partnership with local education agencies.
2. Invest in teacher retention through well-defined career ladders.
3. Expand pathways into teaching for youth and paraprofessionals.
4. Improve the financial value proposition for becoming a teacher.
5. Improve data collection to allow for targeted investments in the teacher pipeline.


The National Council On Teacher Quality told CNN that over the last two years, 23 states have lowered teacher qualification requirements for beginning teachers. That includes lowering or removing assessment tests designed to determine whether teachers have a firm grasp on the subject they will teach and creating emergency teaching certificates to expedite candidates into the classroom without a teaching degree.

Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma have created new pathways for people without a bachelor’s degree to teach in classrooms. […]

Linda Darling Hammond, president of the Learning Policy Institute, an education research and policy advocacy group, says state efforts to repeal teacher qualification requirements will only exacerbate the teacher shortage.

“When states respond to shortages by reducing standards rather than increasing salaries and improving working conditions, what they’re doing is creating a vicious cycle. They get people in who are underprepared. Those people leave at two to three times the rate of those who have come in with preparation.”

Hammond says at the same time the quality of education for students suffers. “You’re undermining student achievement.”

…Adding… Teach Plus Illinois released this study about special educator retention

1. Special education teachers want effective mentorship and continued professional development throughout their careers.
2. Increasingly heavy workloads result in lack of time to fulfill duties and responsibilities and deteriorating mental health for special education teachers.
3. School administrators do not have a comprehensive understanding of special education teachers’ responsibilities and duties.
4. Educator preparation programs do not adequately prepare special education teachers for non-instructional parts of their job such as writing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and successful collaboration.

District leaders and elected officials should:
1. School districts should provide a robust mentoring program with at least two years of mentorship for special education teachers.
2. Districts should increase pay for special education staff and create additional positions to reduce workload.
3. School administrators should be trained to understand special education teachers’ duties and incorporate their suggestions regarding student needs.
4. ISBE should require more classroom field experience, training in managing IEPs and paperwork, and practice in collaborating with peers as part of special education preparation programs.


Not as great as it sounds, but whatevs

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Illinois has been named the number one leader for workforce development in the Midwest region for 2022, up from number two in 2021. The ranking highlights Illinois’ commitment to providing innovative workforce programs, career training, and employment services that create resources for jobseekers and ensure businesses continue to thrive.

“When we invest in workforce development, we create opportunities for every Illinoisan and establish a more economically prosperous future for our state,” said Governor Pritzker. “Through my administration’s historic investments in education, infrastructure, and business development, we’re creating thousands of good-paying jobs and a skilled workforce that’s ready for those jobs. We’re keeping our state’s best assets — our people — at the forefront of economic progress.”

“Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois has developed a reputation as a national leader in workforce readiness and development,” said Acting DCEO Director Kristin A. Richards. “Illinois has made investing in workforce a top priority and earning the top spot reflects the State’s commitment to our outstanding workers.”

The ranking, announced by Site Selection magazine, recognizes “states that performed well in a set of measures that gauge workforce-related aspects of states’ overall employment climate.” It combines information from CNBC, U.S. News, and other organizations.

The Pritzker administration has consistently invested in workforce training to advance career training opportunities for residents across all industries. From training initiatives and trade programs, Illinois has a sustainable pipeline of qualified workers for every field.

Illinois’ workforce development is rooted in equity, innovation, and growth for the future. The state fosters apprenticeship programs at every level and has over 432 Registered Apprenticeship programs. Starting with Illinois’s youth, the state is building cohesive programs to ensure every individual that enters the workforce has adequate preparation and the ability to access the resources needed when choosing careers. Illinois’ youth apprenticeship programs provide a foundation for students aged 16-24 in high school and postsecondary education to choose between multiple pathways in high school, leading to college, full-time employment, or a combination of both.

In 2021, the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program was launched to increase access to good-paying jobs in the trades for historically underrepresented populations. During the first year of the program, nearly $10 million was awarded to 22 diverse organization across the state, paving the way for 1,024 participants to secure jobs and greater opportunities. This year, Illinois Works has awarded an additional $30 million to support 30 organizations and nearly 1,400 pre-apprentices. Participation in the program has already increased 40% from its inaugural year.

* But if you click the link in the press release, here’s what you’ll find

The rankings on the following pages are high-level measures of states’ workforce development climates. They do not reflect which states in a region have the most effective workforce training programs or labor boards or tools for connecting job seekers with potential employment opportunities. Rather they recognize states that performed well in a set of measures that can be applied to all 50 states, measures that gauge workforce-related aspects of states’ overall employment climate.

Analysis of variables on the ground, such as programs and resources for job seekers, are still the best way for companies with significant hiring plans to factor workforce development into their site searches. These rankings might serve as a starting point.

The components used to assemble these rankings are: (1) CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business, 2022 Workforce sub-ranking; (2) U.S. News’ 2021 Best States for Education ranking; (3) ACT National Career Readiness Certificates for 2021 — percent improvement in ACT National Career Readiness Certificates earned by working-age adults between Dec. 2021 and Nov. 2022; (4) the Workforce Preparation and Development component of the Council for Community and Economic Research’s State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database; and (5) whether or not the charge of the state workforce board or council that connects education to workforce development goes beyond the requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, according to the Education and Workforce Development Connections 2021 report from the Education Commission of the United States.

Also, it wasn’t the entire Midwest region, as stated in the press release. It was the East North Central region, which also includes Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Take what you can get, I suppose.


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

  Comments Off      

Morning briefing

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here’s your morning roundup…


Open thread

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Good morning! I’m adding twenty GA freshman to the live coverage feed today, keep a lookout! Anyway, what’s going on in Illinois today?


Live coverage

Friday, Feb 3, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Afternoon roundup
* Pritzker's office, IDOT say consulting bills, lack of new paperwork holding up funding for Cairo Port project
* How states are scrambling to address teacher shortages
* Not as great as it sounds, but whatevs
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Morning briefing
* Open thread
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...








Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller