Illinois Senate Passes Education Reforms - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois Senate Passes Education Reforms

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  Illinois lawmakers have reached a deal to pass educational reforms. The Senate passed the bill late Thursday night and because of the agreement, it is all but certain the House will too.

  The Education Reform Bill could have districts learning a new way to hire and fire teachers. The proposed bill would streamline and shorten the process, basing it on performance. If a district needs to layoff teachers, evaluations and qualifications will matter more than seniority. Tenured teachers would no longer be exempt.

  Obtaining tenure status would also change. The first 4 years a teacher is at the district will be probationary. A certain number of positive performance evaluations will be needed to be eligible for tenure status.

  Also in the bill, the mediation process will require more public disclosure. The proposed law would require unions and school boards to take longer to negotiate. Both sides must publicly disclose their bargaining positions before a strike can start.

  Lawmakers and all the state's public education unions agreed to the changes. If everything is passed and the governor signs off on the bill the changes will go into effect for the 2012 school year.

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