Springfield– Illinois schools could soon be able to put more money into classrooms thanks to legislation filed by State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) that would enact meaningful mandate relief for all K-12 schools.
“Countless state mandates impact nearly every aspect of every district across our state," said State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). "Relief from these costly mandates is essential to giving districts the flexibility they need, and allows them to direct their limited resources to the classroom, where they are needed the most."
Senator Barickman introduced his legislation during a press conference at a school in Lombard, along with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The bill takes a three pronged approach to reducing costly state mandates on schools, which could save schools $200 million statewide.
Districts would be able to adopt a policy to allow certain students to be released from mandatory P.E. classes, if the students are taking part in equivalent activities, such as sports. Schools would be required to hold a public hearing before adopting the policy.
Schools would be able to save money on expensive driver’s education training by contracting with private companies that offer driver training curriculum for high school students.
The legislation also makes it easier for school districts to utilize private contractors for services such as cleaning and food preparation, by eliminating current requirements that make it more costly to use outside vendors. This is similar to laws already in place for Chicago schools, but would extend the freedom to all public schools in Illinois.
“Our schools have been struggling for years under the weight of costly unfunded mandates and limited financial resources,” said Senator Barickman. “Every dollar we can save our schools is one more that can be spent on educating students in the classroom.”