Ill. Senate Approves Education Labor Law Reform - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ill. Senate Approves Education Labor Law Reform

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The Illinois Senate has unanimously approved sweeping legislation that would reduce teachers' job security and emphasize performance over seniority.

The legislation would make it harder for teachers to achieve tenure. Even after getting tenure, bad teachers could be fired.

If a district has to make layoffs, jobs would be protected based on classroom performance instead of seniority.

The bill would also require more steps, including mediation, before teachers could go on strike. The final contract offer from each side would also be made public.

The measure passed 59-0 and now goes to the House.

Teacher unions have numbers and money that translate into influence at the Illinois capitol, but they still made major concessions in negotiations on an education reform package.

The Illinois Education Association and Illinois Federation of Teachers said Thursday the changes will improve classrooms while still protecting teachers.

But they acknowledge that laws weakening public employee rights in Ohio and Wisconsin influenced their decision to compromise.

A new player in negotiations was the group Stand for Children, which poured $610,000 into fall legislative elections. IEA and IFT contributions over the years dwarf that.

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