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Bertino-Tarrant’s new law ensures reliable and experienced teachers in Illinois’ classrooms

Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantPLAINFIELD – Illinois now has a new law in place to help address the teacher shortage by allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom without coming out of retirement, thanks to Illinois Senate Education Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant’s championed House Bill 1472, which addresses findings that 89 percent of Central Illinois districts and 92 percent of Southern Illinois districts have issues with staffing teaching positions with qualified candidates. The law was signed on Friday.

“Our retired teachers should not be penalized for returning to classrooms to help our school districts meet their needs,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We want teachers in our classrooms with experience in the profession to help ensure our children are receiving a strong education.”

Bertino-Tarrant supports bipartisan initiatives to encourage economic development and job creation

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant joined her colleagues on both side of the aisle to support significant business initiatives that will encourage economic development in Illinois.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) supported vital bipartisan measures that create tax credits, new jobs and apprenticeship programs which will stimulate the state’s economy.

“Illinois businesses drive our economy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “These job-creating programs were formed in collaboration with businesses across Illinois to encourage growth and stability that will invite companies to make our community their home.”

Will County Veterans Commission to get expanded dental program, transportation for disabled vets under budget supported by Bertino-Tarrant

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD – Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County will soon receive $130,000, thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) helped fight for this crucial community organization to receive additional funding for dental services and a vehicle furnished with a lift to increase mobility for disabled veterans in need of transportation services.

“I believe it’s fitting to prioritize the veterans who took care of us,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County is providing our community with exceptional service. This funding will help them expand services and take even better care of our servicemen and servicewomen.”

The Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County’s mission strives to protect, promote and provide services to Veterans as honorably and selflessly as possible.

“Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is a huge supporter of veteran’s in Will County,” Kristi McNichol, Superintendent of Will County Veterans Assistance Commission said. “Each year she hosts a veterans’ appreciation breakfast, so we were not surprised when she thought of continuing to support our veterans with capital improvement funds. We have been in need of a van with a wheelchair lift and her phone call was the answer to many of our senior and disabled veterans’ prayers.”  

According to Barry Kolanowski, Executive Director SR Service Center of Will CO, the senior population in Will County will exceed 100,000 in 2020 and this funding will help the organization meet the senior veterans’ transportation needs as well as the county’s disabled veteran population.

“Dental care in general is important for preventative maintenance for overall healthcare” McNichol said. “One of the missions of the VAC is to prevent a crisis, from healthcare to housing. We are extremely grateful for the Senator taking the veterans of Will County’s needs into consideration when requesting additional funding from Springfield.”

Bertino-Tarrant acts to preserve five-hour school days in Illinois

05072019CM0083RSPLAINFIELD –Illinois’ five-hour classroom time will now ensure students receive a balanced education, thanks to the Senate’s Education Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, Senate Bill 28, reinstates a minimum of 5 hours of instruction per day in schools, allowing exemptions for students enrolled in dual career, supervised career development experiences and youth apprenticeships.

This section was repealed in the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act trailer bill, leaving each school district to determine what counts as an instructional day. The fix was signed into law on Friday

“Utilizing technology in our curriculum helps our children learn better,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In the 21st century, we need to continue to look for ways to incorporate innovative teaching methods to guarantee our children are prepared to compete in the modern world. However, there needs to be clear and concise guidelines in place to ensure students are receiving the best possible educational opportunities.”

Schools that have received approval from Illinois State Board of Education may still utilize e-learning days to satisfy school day requirements.

Bertino-Tarrant is committed to working with ISBE, educators and advocates to create a streamlined process that will allow school districts to utilize e-learning, especially in cases when schools are forced to cancel days in the classroom.

“E-learning is a valuable tool,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We just need to make sure there are clear standards in place to prevent abuse of the program.”

Senate Bill 28 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The measure go into effect on July 1, 2019.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education (Chairperson); Insurance; Labor; Licensed Activities (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.

Associated Representatives:
Mark Batinick
Natalie A. Manley