IFT Seeks Fixes to Ed Reform Bill
The Illinois House passed Senate Bill 7
this afternoon by a vote of 112-1-1. The bill passed the Senate by a unanimous vote last month and now heads to the governor's desk.
"The passage of Senate Bill 7 today was not totally unexpected, but we are disappointed that the House didn't wait until we could finalize language that will fix the problems with the bill," Montgomery said. "We are currently working with all the stakeholders to finish a follow up bill, and we believe we are making progress."
A provision which limits the negotiating abilities of many IFT and CTU members was found last week to have been added to the bill. All parties involved in drafting SB 7 have agreed that the language was unintentional. 5-11-11
IFT President Dan Montgomery and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis both testified before the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee on Wednesday, May 11 about technical changes needed to fix Senate Bill 7. IFT and CTU both oppose the bill in its current form, but the emphasis of today’s testimony was on making language changes to reflect the original intent of those who negotiated the bill.
“The IFT opposes passage of SB 7 in this current form without the needed repairs to make the bill truly reflect what the parties intended,” said President Montgomery. “We supported and still support SB 7 in its intended form. The lengthy negotiation process was hard on everyone, but in the end the IFT joined with all the parties in agreeing that we had reached the best outcome we could. When we see these necessary changes, we will support this bill.”
The bill passed out of committee by a unanimous vote, but lawmakers indicated they want to address the IFT and CTU’s concerns. House Majority Leader, Representative Barbara Flynn-Currie, said that language fixes would come in an amendment or a separate piece of legislation known as a “trailer” bill. The IFT will be working with Leader Currie and all of the organizations involved to draft language that addresses our concerns.
The IFT, the other unions, and many of the stakeholder groups realized a provision made it into the law in a way that was not intended by the parties at the table. “This now infamous 12(b) provision has a potential wide-ranging effect unintended by the parties at the table, to my knowledge all of whom agree now that it was not the intent of the parties,” said Montgomery.
“This is a provision than could rather easily be fixed by an amendment to the bill. Some of us have put that amendatory language out there. There are also some technical fixes that must be made. One very important to us is language that would exclude the City Colleges of Chicago from the impasse resolution language in SB 7. Again, this is an issue of agreement among all the parties to the crafting of this bill in the Senate. It was stated explicitly that no one intended to affect the Higher Education community in these provisions.”
You can read more
about the collaborative negotiations process and details of SB 7.