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This section was repealed in the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act trailer bill, leaving each school district to determine what counts as an instructional day.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