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IFT Teachers

IFT Teachers is the largest segment of the union's membership, representing teachers in school districts throughout Illinois.

"Join Hands to Stop Bullying"
Be a part of the IFT’s campaign to raise awareness and provide resources to help teachers, school staff and parents talk to kids about bullying.

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Illinois Kids First
IFT's FREE online resource center designed to give parents the tools they need to help their child reach his or her greatest potential.

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Professional Development
Improve your practice and your students’ achievement using a variety of proven methods through the AFT Professional Development program created by the American Federation of Teachers.

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Highly Qualified
Determine if you are “highly qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act. Based on the Illinois State Board of Education's, “Are You Highly Qualified for Your Assignments in Core Academic Subjects?”

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Illinois Teacher Evaluation and Development (ITED)
A valuable new resource to help you work with your school district to design and implement an effective teacher evaluation system. ITED is a collaborative effort from the IFT, Illinois Education Association and the Consortium for Educational Change.

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Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
Learn how CCSS will impact you, your classroom, and your students through IFT's Common Core Community Center. Find additional resources and see what other IFT members are doing to prepare for implementation and assessment.

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AFT Teachers
The teachers division of the American Federation of Teachers provides useful tools for teachers, guidance in National Board certification, and professional development.

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Share My Lesson
Join AFT's newest educator resource, Share My Lesson, created by teachers, for teachers. Register to share lesson plans and rate and review resources – FREE!

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Legislative Update – Week of 11/11/19

by Beth Camplain | Nov 15, 2019
The General Assembly wrapped up the fall veto session this week. Action was taken on veto overrides, new proposals, and unfinished business from the spring.
The General Assembly wrapped up the fall veto session this week. Action was taken on veto overrides, new proposals, and unfinished business from the spring.

Highlights of the week included:

Post-Janus cleanup sent to the governor
The Senate passed SB 1784 (Sen. Harmon, D-Oak Park) by a vote of 45 – 9. The bill now goes to the governor for consideration. The legislation would prohibit the disclosure of public employees’ personal information to 3rd parties, like the Illinois Policy Institute. The bill would also require employers to provide the union with accurate employee lists and ensure that union representatives have the right to communicate with employees in the workplace and through worksite channels. The legislation also clarifies the dues deduction process.

IFT pension proposals included in pension fund consolidation bill
Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly approved legislation that will provide for the first time a designated elected trustee position for the Illinois Federation of Teachers on the Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees. IFT supported SB 1300 (Sen. Castro, D- Elgin, Rep. Hoffman, D-Belleville). The legislation will give a voice to the vast majority of members who rely on TRS for their retirement security. While IFT has been successful in getting members appointed to the TRS board in the past, an elected, active teacher from IFT has never sat on the board. 

IFT is hopeful that this change will be approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor to ensure that your voice is heard when it comes to the important decisions made by TRS. The election for this position will be administered by TRS; when this will take place is yet to be determined. The legislation also provides for an addition gubernatorial appointee to the board. The new elected board member must be seated by July, 2020. 

In addition, the legislation contains an IFT proposal to fix a provision in current law that kept some members with police powers out of the alternative formula. Arson investigators and commerce commission police officers will now be included in the same pension category as their peers. The bill allows these members to buy back pension credit for time served in a municipal pension system, since most of these individuals have served in other law enforcement positions. The legislation also contains other pension provisions, including the consolidation of police and fire fighter pension systems into individual pension systems. 

Paraprofessional licensure cleanup
SB 10
(Rep. Crespo, D-Streamwood) passed the House and Senate this week. The legislation is a trailer bill to PA 101-220. It will restore the ability of paraprofessionals with a high school diploma to take the Work Keys test to gain licensure.

Delay of implementation of special education changes passes
SB 460
(Sen. Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) passed unanimously in both chambers. The measure changes the effective date of PA 101-515 to July 1, 2020. PA 101-515 made numerous changes to special education law, including codifying the regulatory requirements of Response to Intervention, requiring that no later than three school days prior to an eligibility meeting or individualized education program (IEP) meeting that the school must provide the parents with copies of all written material that will be considered by the IEP team at the meeting, and that the school provide notification to the child’s parent or guardian within three school days of the local education agency’s non-compliance with the child’s IEP. Changing the effective date allows districts and educators to implement the provisions of PA 101-515 more thoughtfully.

A look ahead
The House and Senate will return to Springfield on Tuesday, January 28. Governor Pritzker will give his State of the State speech the following day.

Download the IFT app (iOS or Android) for the latest from Springfield.


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