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Congressional Republicans try to undo win for Illinois teachers

teachers supplies taxLocal lawmakers stand with educators, urge Congress to do the same

CHICAGO – A tax policy win for teachers in Illinois is now at risk of being undermined at the national level as Congressional Republicans and President Trump debate wiping out tax relief for teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies.

The federal debate comes just months after state lawmakers created a new tax credit in an effort to recognize the realities classroom teachers face. A trio of North Side state lawmakers is speaking out to defend teachers and criticize Republican efforts in Congress.

“That’s Washington and the White House going in entirely the wrong direction,” Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton said.

Collins, Hunter express outrage over planned school closures

hunter collins 120617Englewood would have no high schools under proposal by Mayor Emanuel

CHICAGO – Joined by fellow lawmakers Wednesday morning, State Senators Jacqueline Collins and Mattie Hunter voiced their opposition to a move by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to shutter four schools in the Englewood neighborhood.

“I stand alongside my colleagues, united in disappointment and outrage as, once again, Mayor Emanuel chooses to pull the rug out from under our public schools,” Collins said. “Years of negotiations in the General Assembly finally came to fruition this year when Democrats and Republicans rejected politics, embraced compromise, and came together to make a fairer system for our children.

State senators urge ISBE to accelerate its teacher shortage study

manar teacher 111517SPRINGFIELD – Three Senate education leaders are urging the governor’s administration to expedite its study of the statewide teacher shortage and report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1.

 In a Nov. 14 letter addressed to Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks, State Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Kimberly A. Lightford and Andy Manar ask the board to accelerate its inquiry into the crisis so that lawmakers will have enough time to craft and pass legislation that will help to address the matter prior to next school year.

Latino Caucus supports Illinois National Guard troops deployed to Puerto Rico

aquino 110917SPRINGFIELD- Illinois recently sent more than 100 Illinois Army National Guard troops to assist in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as many on the island continue to live without electricity or clean water.

“Illinois has a large population of Puerto Ricans, and sending support to those who are struggling in their homeland is the right thing to do. I thank our troops who have been deployed to help as the people of Puerto Rico continue to rebuild,” said Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-Chairman of the Latino Caucus.