AM News: Brizard & SB7 Both In Play

ScreenHunter_11 May. 09 09.57CPS chief: 'I've never had an easy job' Tribune: Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard, center, mingles with attendees at "Education Nation." ... Brizard: Ready to Change Chicago Public Schools for the Better Fox:  The incoming CEO of Chicago Public Schools is not Superman, but Jean Claude Brizard said that Chicago can be ...Rahm Talks Longer School Days, Stronger School Board At Education Nation Event Huffington Post: Attendees were gathered for Education Nation, a panel discussion on how to fix our nation's schools... Illinois kids are getting more responsible Tribune:  Compared to the mid-1990s, Illinois teenagers are drinking less, smoking less and being more responsible on the roads... School districts not phased by union protests to education reform ISN:  Lawmakers, teachers' unions and education reformers may be pulling hairs over objections to recently passed education reforms, but local school districts aren't feeling the stress... Suburban teen is U.S. chess king:   Last week, the junior at Niles North High School became the United States Chess Federation ... Culture of Calm Is Threatened by Budget Cuts CNC:  The Culture of Calm program has resulted in higher school attendance, fewer suspensions and less violence, but the federal stimulus money that keeps it going is about to run out... 

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  • should strikes be limited to a 75 percent vote, or to 75 percent of members? -- that's the key issue according to catalyst

  • did CTU violate the good faith agreement by going public last week instead of getting the language changed behind closed doors?

    that's what comes out in part in this CNC article

  • video snippet of lightford talking about the situation via ISN

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Thank you, Alexander, for posting the Kimberly Lightford statement. It was quite instructive.

  • more reactions from statehouse news -- mostly critical of the changes CTU is seeking or how it's dealing with the problem

  • Alexander writes; "did CTU violate the good faith agreement by going public last week instead of getting the language changed behind closed doors?" As Alexander is aware having worked in the legislative process an amendment to a bill cannot be done completely behind closed doors, but yes the CTU could have drafted language for an amendment to SB7 to modify the two sections in question and built support for those amendments prior to having the amendments introduced in the Illinois House.

    But this may not really what this is all about. Two out of power factions in the CTU saw that SB7 was a major concession on numerous issues and was not popular with many members of the union and organized against the bill in the CTU House of delegates. The majority faction of the union agreed to oppose the bill it had endorsed and so the entire House of delegates came out against the bill. The language issues with two sections became the formal excuse for backing out of support for the bill. There are clearly CTU delegates opposed to SB7 in its totality and I can understand why. Many members understand SB7 is a major concession to historic union practices.

    Up to now the CTU is claiming that these two sections in the bill were changed in the final version of the bill which they had not seen before and were given only a few minutes to approve. Stand for Children has stated this was not the case and the CTU saw the existing language. A simple solution to this issue is for the CTU to provide a pdf of the relevant passages before and after based on the various drafts of the bill they have so everyone can see the changes they are discussing.

    When I work on a bill, I number all the drafts and keep them for cross reference so I can track changes. This is a fairly standard practice for a lobbyist. Sometimes you have dozens of drafts of different language for bills. I think if CTU can prove to members of the Illinois House that basically underhanded changes were made to the bill that were inconsistent with earlier drafts their amendments might be adopted and Stand for Children or whoever made such modifications at the last minute will not look so good. Unfortunately it is the CTU that must prove its argument on this issue because it is the union that is publicly claiming there were unauthorized changes made to the final draft that became the bill that was voted on and approved by every member present in the Illinois Senate.

    Rod Estvan

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