config

Martinez works to expand eligibility for Grow Your Own Teacher initiative

TeacherSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is continuing her long-time advocacy for the Grow Your Own Teacher (GYOT) initiative by advancing legislation that expands the ability of schools and future teachers to participate in the program.

“Illinois is dealing with a teacher shortage, so we need to do all that we can to place dedicated teachers in schools,” Martinez said. “We especially must work to ensure students at schools that are traditionally hard to staff – like those in low-incomes areas – have the same access to quality education as anyone else.”

The Grow Your Own Teacher initiative is a program designed to train people to become teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

Martinez’s legislation would expand the definition of "eligible school" and "hard-to-staff" schools for the initiative to include early childhood programs in which no less than 40 percent of the children it serves are receiving subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child Care Assistance Program.

It would also extend eligibility for participation in the initiative to high school students enrolled in a dual credit course at a participating institution of higher education.

Senate Bill 244 is similar to legislation Martinez passed last year that then-Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed. It passed the Senate Higher Education Committee without opposition Tuesday and heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Martinez advances plan to improve student trustee residency requirements

Senator MartinezSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is continuing her work to expand opportunities for students at the University of Illinois to run for the position of student trustee by amending the university’s residency status requirements.

“Our institutions of higher education should be about promoting leadership opportunities,” Martinez said. “Being a student trustee is one good way students can serve and enhance their skills. And students who serve in these positions will graduate with an appreciation for the importance of civic engagement.”

Martinez first introduced similar legislation in 2016 after being contacted by an undocumented student who was unable to run for student trustee, despite the fact that he was enrolled in the university and an Illinois resident. The University of Illinois is a proponent of the initiative.

The University of Illinois Trustee Act requires students to be residents of Illinois in order to be selected as a student trustee.

Residency is currently demonstrated by three factors:

  • Evidence of the student’s residence in Illinois for at least the previous six months
  • A valid Illinois driver’s license or Illinois identification card
  • Being registered to vote in Illinois

But under Martinez’s proposal, a student would have to live in Illinois for six months and either have a driver’s license or ID card, or register to vote in Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the plan in 2016, and the House failed to call it for a vote after it was reintroduced and passed the Senate in 2017.

Senate Bill 172 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Tuesday and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Martinez praises budget, looks for funding for immigrant services

martinez 022019SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his first budget address Wednesday:

“Gov. Pritzker has proposed a balanced budget that takes seriously our commitment to restoring stability to Illinois after years of uncertainty.

“I was glad to see the governor prioritize education by exceeding the minimum amount of required by our new school funding formula and by investing in early childhood and higher education.

“Even though he did not mention it in his budget address, I know Gov. Pritzker has made a commitment to immigrants in our state and I look forward to talking with him more about providing and protecting vital immigrant services.”

 

Martinez praises Pritzker’s commitment to welcoming immigrants

martinez 053018SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today after Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order strengthening the state’s commitment to welcoming immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers:

“Our country was founded by immigrants who came here looking to build a better life for themselves and their families. We would not be where we are today if it were not for the contributions they made and continue to make to our society.

“Welcoming immigrants, particularly those fleeing danger like refugees and asylum seekers, is at the core of our American values. Officials at the federal level, including the president, seem to have forgotten that. I’m glad we in Illinois still remember what our country is about.”

Senator Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
 
Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Government Accountability/Pensions (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Born Feb. 25, 1956, in Chicago; earned her bachelor's degree in public policy and administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009; elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She is also the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Co-Chair; has one daughter.

Associated Representatives:
Jaime M. Andrade, Jr.
Will Guzzardi