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Illinois Senate passes education bill

April 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM   |   Comments

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 15 (UPI) -- Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel says the passing of an education reform bill by the Illinois Senate is a step in improving schools.

The Illinois Senate voted 59-0 on the measure that would lengthen the school year. It now goes to the Illinois House, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

"The unanimous passage of education reform legislation in the Illinois Senate is a first step in what could be a historic victory for Chicago students. This bill paves the way for essential reforms to Chicago's public education system," Emanuel said in a prepared statement.

The legislation would give school districts additional power to fire poorly performing teachers and impose new rules on teacher strikes.

"This is the reason why I serve in this chamber: It's for education youth development, giving that child who lives in a poor zip code the same opportunities as a child who lives in a wealthy zip code," bill sponsor Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, said.

The legislation is also supported by Gov. Pat Quinn, who said it "helps us make sure that we have the best teachers in our classrooms and assures effective teacher performance."

Topics: Rahm Emanuel
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