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More mandates, less mandates

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

* AP

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.

* More

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

53 Comments
  1. - Anon - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Am I dumb or is Andy Manar a Democrat?


  2. - MrJM - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    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.

    Emphasis added.

    Hey, as long as we’re at it, let’s let schools stop teaching fractions and spelling too.

    – MrJM


  3. - Anon2 - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    I dunno…do we really need local school districts to make important decisions like this for themselves?

    I trust Springfield to manage our schools more than an unruly mob of locals.


  4. - Edron - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    =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.=

    U.S. History? Really? I kind of get some of the other ones, yet not having students learn any U.S. History seems a little too much. Every high school has some sort of U.S. History curriculum, and most colleges want students to take the class as a prerequisite to college. And the fact that today, more than ever, we need to learn from the mistakes of the past…


  5. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Eliminating Leif Erickson Day is a travesty. When will this disregard of our Scandinavian heritage stop.

    To the post: That is the proverbial problem with the General Assembly. For every mandate they eliminate, there is three or four to replace it. Of course, it’s a rare case when funding is actually provided for those mandates. As they discuss raising taxes or cutting budgets, they continue to pass mandates. Most of which they justify as being a minor cost in light of such a major need. Unfortunately the major need is to put something on their campaign literature or to placate a donor or important constituency group.


  6. - G'Kar - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Much of this bill I understand and support. But, eliminate the mandate to teach United States’ History? That is just wrong. Oh, well, I suppose they could use the time they spent teaching history teaching students to use a defibrillator.


  7. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    ==Manar’s newest amendment gives school districts the opportunity to skip out on the instruction of the following topics: . . . United States’ history”

    Wow. Skipping out on our entire history now. I’m assuming they got their story wrong there.


  8. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Ending Leif Erickson Day? I hope nobody tells Wordslinger.


  9. - ??? - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Echoing a few others….opt out of teaching U.S. History?? Really?


  10. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===opt out of teaching U.S. History?? Really?===

    After Columbus got off the Mayflower at Ellis Island, there’s really not much history left to teach.


  11. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    @Anon - you are correct, Manar is a Democrat. That’s definitely an error in the story.

    To the post, Rose has a point.


  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    –“The monetary value of Leif Erickson Day is zero,” Rose said.–

    But the spiritual value is sublime.

    For crying out loud, skip U.S. history? That’s the only class in high school I didn’t skip on a regular basis.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    GUV HOPEFUL ‘OW’ VOWS TO REINSTATE LEIF ERICKSON DAY

    To the Post,

    The idea of “opting out” on lived history, be it US History, or those listed; === the Holocaust and genocides; black history; women’s history; disability history; the disability rights movement…===

    At what point do we hold future generations not to repeat the failed past history?

    Not knowing where we came from is just as bad as having no direction to where we want to go as a society.

    - Norseman - get the “LE Day” release handed out, start in Norway, IL, off IL 71.


  14. - CollegeStudent - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    @MrJM

    Shoot, who needs a social sciences department anyway?


  15. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    US History should be removed from that list, women’s and black history should be included in US history (so you’re essentially removing all three).

    Either way, I support SB 16, but outside of drivers ed & in some instances PE, I don’t see any savings in that list. The State can not keep passing unfunded mandates to make a couple people feel better. If it’s important fund it, if it’s not, don’t make others spend money for it. That state should consider a unfunded mandates budget where if they want to add something, they have to take something else away in at least equal amounts.

    Our local governments would be a lot better off without the State legislature.


  16. - PublicServant - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    And we don’t need to teach English either. Shoot I new my English good even afore I gone to skool on Day 1.


  17. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    As for making instruction on these things optional? It seems to do much more harm than good.

    Drivers’ education - students then have to pay hundreds of dollars more for drivers ed through private instructors. That is a problem for children in low income families, especially if they plan on getting a job to help support the family. Buses don’t run everywhere, and they need a license to drive the family car to work.

    Daily physical education - when we already have problems with obesity, juvenile diabetes, etc.?

    The Holocaust and genocides; black history; women’s history; United States’ history; disability history; the disability rights movement; patriotism and representative government - can we at least put a limit on how many of these a school can drop? How much time will kids spend studying history on their own time? Especially the history of “other” groups from themselves?

    Requirements applicable to sex education courses - Babies, diseases, and whatnot. Seems kind of important, especially so early in life.

    Violence prevention and conflict resolution - because we want less of these skills among kids and emotionally-charged teenagers.


  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    - Norseman - get the “LE Day” release handed out, start in Norway, IL, off IL 71.–

    Site of the Norwegian settlers memorial, commemorating the arrival of the first organized group of Norsk immigrants to Illinois in 1834.

    Those farmers saw all that flat, rock-free land and about plotzed, lol.


  19. - Wensicia - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    History, U.S, et al, isn’t included in mandated testing, so let’s dump it.


  20. - Corporate Thug - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    IF..IF this amendment makes it to the board in the Senate, I’d be interested to see the vote total. If I’m a member, republican or democrat, I’m not sure that I’d want to be on record to eliminate some of these.


  21. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    This is Illinois. No point in teaching the kids about “representative government.”


  22. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    AA - makes sense.

    Probably should keep physical fitness, though. Need those precinct walkers to be in good shape.


  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    FKA, you’re spot on. Well done.

    This is really a Knuckclehead Smith proposal. Hey Andy, you know Bunker Hill, IL isn’t named for Archie Bunker, right? You probably learned that in U.S. History.


  24. - Bobby Hill - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    Relax, the amendment gives school districts the “opportunity” to skip out on the instruction of the topics. It doesn’t say they can’t still spend money on football or competitive cheerleading. I am sure the school boards will make wise decisions with their education dollars.


  25. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Norway Ill., great location for the press conference. My peeps had farms along 71. Gives me a chance to see them as we drive to Norway.


  26. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Word - In honor of Leif Erikson, “Takk min venn” (Thank you my friend).

    We’re going to just skip the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements? Maybe show “Schindler’s List” one day as a substitute for studying the Holocaust, Rwanda and Bosnia? De-emphasize conflict resolution while kids are shooting each other?

    This, to me, is suddenly a more important bill than even the tax hike. Few issues bear greater influence on the sort of state we want our kids to grow up in and then one day lead.


  27. - Foznuts - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    With history gone, CPS only needs the opportunity to stop teaching English, math, and science in order to become a high performing district.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    - wordslinger - and - Norseman -,

    That memorial on 71 in the sunshine, great backdrop, and actually a very well-kept memorial with flags never tattered, and the site well groomed.

    Heck, according to Sen. Manar, even stopping by that memorial is wasting kids’ time(?)

    I guess with no history to teach, that “Living in the Moment” ideal is now an educational staple?


  29. - cover - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Sen. Manar has made a point of referring back to the last education funding reform bill back in (I think) 1997. That bill also created winners and losers, but the losers were spared by additional state “hold harmless” funding so that no district actually lost money. Does anyone know how much additional state funding would be required for a “hold harmless” if Manar’s bill were to become law?


  30. - Midstate Indy - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Sen. Rose has a valid point on the direct economic impact of Leif Erickson Day, but you can’t hate the concepts of both the problem and the proposed solution and still consider yourself to be bringing anything positive to the table.


  31. - cover - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    = Hey Andy, you know Bunker Hill, IL isn’t named for Archie Bunker, right? =

    Not only do kids today not know about Bunker Hill (or Breed’s Hill for that matter), but they probably also don’t know who Archie Bunker was.


  32. - Oneman - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    The fees the local private drivers ed operator only charges like $75 more than the school district fees and thanks to when my daughters birthday falls she was able to take it over a year earlier


  33. - Oneman - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    It would be interesting to see everything that the state mandates need to be taught that takes less than 8 hours of total instruction be it Leif Ericson or labor history.


  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    This just shows you what the State thinks about our schools. Lets cut everything and give the kids a cheap education!


  35. - OldSmoky2 - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    While I love that, more than anything else in recorded history, this is making people more aware of the significance of Leif Erickson Day, I actually went and read the amendment just now, something I’d recommend doing to the reporter who wrote the Sun-Times article. It’s more about future, potentially unfunded mandates. It also lays out a pretty detailed process for any school district that wants to request an exemption from following any such mandate, including making a request to the regional superintendent for the exemption, who then has to hold a public hearing, including testimony from the public, on the request. If the regional superintendent rejects the request, the district can then appeal to the state superintendent. The amendment makes no mention of specific school subjects or holidays. I’d guess from this reading that we can put away our atgeirs, seaxes and linden-wood shields for the moment.


  36. - Decaf Coffee Party - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    Regarding the more than 100 state education mandates, it would seem the choice is whether you’d prefer Springfield making decisions for everyone or leave those decisions to local communities and their elected school board members. I know who I trust more.


  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Just up the road from Norway, IL, is Stavenger, IL, named after my old man’s hometown.

    Met King Olav V, grandson of Queen Victoria, there when I was a boy.

    Stavenger is where the Norwegian Vikings came from, Jaeren, where you could scratch out a crop if you were willing to pick the rocks out of the fields and build those quaint fences.

    It’s from there that they rocked Europe, discovered America, founded Dublin, settled Normandy, conquered England and raped and pillaged from Lisbon to Sicily to Kiev to Baghdad til they saw the light and got Christianity more than a thousand years ago.

    We’re pretty cool, now.

    Now it’s home to Statoil, and they have more oil and gas then the Clampetts.


  38. - dreamer - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    How bout we get rid of everything that doesn’t show up as a question on the ACT, ISAT, or SAT exams. No athletics, driver’s ed., band, chorus, dance, and on and on. If parents think those things are important and the kids want to participate they can do it after school on their own time. Plus, you’ll be rid of the IHSA.


  39. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Dreamer, I know where you’re coming from.

    How about we get rid of these stupid standardized tests? They have nothing to do with learning. They’re scams to enrich the publishers and produce flatulence in political Elmer Gantry education “reformers.”

    Elmer Gantry. I picked that up at a library. Get your kid a library card, it’s the best gift ever, for life.


  40. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    This is simply stupid… Other than the commenters feelings about standardized tests…..


  41. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    I have heard of some bad ideas. At least if this passes, the FULL month of standardized testing next year will be easier. If they are fat and don’t understand our history…At least they can take tests… I hope this get’s shot down…I hope.


  42. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===We’re pretty cool, now.

    Now it’s home to Statoil, and they have more oil and gas then the Clampetts.===

    Can we can you Jethro for the rest of the day? Calling you Ellie Mae seems kinda insulting. lol


  43. - Earnest - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Wordslinger, if I may be off topic, when my dad taught me to play Euchre, one of the rules I learned was that if you got beat 10-0, you had to walk to Stavenger. Evidently it was a punishment due to the fact that there were no bars there.


  44. - CapnCrunch - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    “It’s from there that [the Vikings] rocked Europe, discovered America, founded Dublin, settled Normandy, conquered England…………”

    I don’t recall all of their history but if they had conquered England wouldn’t we be speaking Norwegian today?


  45. - Wensicia - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 5:38 pm:

    ==Leif Erickson Day, Arbor Day, Bird Day, American Indian Day, Illinois Law Week, “Just Say No” Day==

    I don’t remember our district ever formally (or informally) observing these days.


  46. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 5:38 pm:

    CapnCrunch, ever hear of William the Conquerer.

    That’s why we need more history in our classrooms.


  47. - CapnCrunch - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:11 pm:

    “CapnCrunch, ever hear of William the Conquerer.

    That’s why we need more history in our classrooms.”

    William the Conqueror was not a Norwegian. But you’re right about needing more history in our classrooms!


  48. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, May 21, 14 @ 6:22 pm:

    “Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

    SENATOR Blutarsky from “Animal House”

    Yep. Lets have the GA make curriculum decision in our schools!


  49. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 7:14 am:

    –William the Conqueror was not a Norwegian.–

    Says you. He was a Norsk Norman.

    –you had to walk to Stavenger. Evidently it was a punishment due to the fact that there were no bars there.–

    Definitely not my experience.


  50. - Steve Reick - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 7:38 am:

    Reading further down in Amendment 4, you come across this:

    “This Section does not apply to (i) any new statutory or regulatory mandates related to revised learning standards developed through the Common Core State Standards Initiative and assessments developed to align with those standards or actions specified in this State’s Phase 2 Race to the Top Grant application if the application is approved by the United States Department of Education or (ii) new statutory or regulatory mandates from the Race to the Top Grant through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 imposed on school districts designated as being in the lowest performing 5% of schools within the Race to the Top Grant application.”

    If there’s anything that will blow a bigger hole in the budget of struggling school district than the technology and infrastructure costs that are going to be imposed by Common Core, I have yet to see it. There’s no amount of Race to the Top money that’s going to offset that. We need school funding reform, but this amendment is all hat and no cattle.


  51. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 7:55 am:

    We cannot teach well with these kinds of governmental intrusions between teacher and student. While it is good to set standards, it is bad to let it get this carried away.

    We have crossed a line in who is teaching and who is learning today in Illinois. We have allowed our politics and regulations to become both teacher and student without regard to the true educational goals everyone needs to have in the future.

    It is no wonder why home schooling has become such an acceptable way of learning today.


  52. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    ==We have allowed our politics and regulations to become both teacher and student without regard to the true educational goals everyone needs to have in the future.–

    Huh?


  53. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, May 22, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    Hold up Andy Manar. You are saying the state of Illinois is so broke it can’t afford to guarantee funding for U.S. history education?!?! Among the many many reasons this is abhorrent legisltation, just who do you think is going to visit our Lincoln tourism sites if history is not taught in school?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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