Governor Pat Quinn today signed four new laws to strengthen education in Illinois. SB 3244 will help students in Illinois excel in the classroom by implementing a stronger mathematics curriculum. The Governor also signed laws that adjust the timelines for alternative teaching certification and general administrative endorsements, as well as increase the efficiency of regional education offices across the state. Today's ceremony took place at National Louis University.
"As a former community college teacher, I know the importance of making sure students are prepared for college-level math," Governor Quinn said. "These laws will help Illinois students thrive in the classroom and prepare them for a competitive workforce, while also supporting our educators who are working hard to help children succeed."
Senate Bill 3244, sponsored by Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign) and Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), was an initiative of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon. While visiting community colleges last fall, Simon learned that only 40 percent of Illinois high school students test ready for college-level math.
"I would like to thank Governor Quinn for signing this into law so quickly," said Lt. Governor Sheila Simon. "Far too often our high school graduates are not prepared for college- and career-level math. This bill will help teachers better serve our students and ensure they are ready to learn and work in a global marketplace."
The law requires the Illinois State Board of Education to work with stakeholders and educational organizations to create and coordinate the development of mathematics curriculum models. These models will be implemented in middle and high schools statewide to help school districts and teachers ensure that students graduate prepared to succeed in college classrooms, as well as in today's competitive job market. The law takes effect January 1.
"I would like to thank Governor Quinn for his commitment to our students, and Lt. Governor Simon on her hard work to pass this bill," said Sen. Frerichs. "In order to fully address students' needs, we must work together to improve math education requirements and better prepare students for the future."
"I would like to commend Governor Quinn and Lt. Governor Simon for their work to make sure Illinois students succeed in and out of the classroom," said Rep. Chapa LaVia. "We must make sure our students receive high quality educations, and this law will help Illinois students reach their full potential."
"As a 'teacher of teachers,' for more than 125 years National Louis has been at the forefront of exploring new teacher preparation models and looking for ways to advance the education system" said Nivine Megahed, National Louis University president. "The signing of these bills today is a very important step to help students excel and to make alternative teaching certification requirements attainable and effective for future teachers. I applaud Gov. Quinn for putting education first in Illinois."
Governor Quinn also signed Senate Bill 2706, sponsored by Sen. William Haine (D-Alton) and Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley), to reduce the number of regional offices of education in Illinois from 45 to 35. This number will be reduced through the consolidation of certain offices, which will be completed by July 1, 2015. As part of the Governor's commitment to make sure that funding for education is invested in the classroom instead of bureaucracy, the new law gives offices the option to voluntarily consolidate or be directed to consolidate by the State Board of Education. This law is effective immediately.
Governor Quinn also signed Senate Bill 638, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Skokie), which changes the deadlines for current alternative teaching certification programs. Educators will now have until Sept. 1, 2013 to enroll in the program and until Jan. 1, 2015 to complete it. The law also allows an individual with an alternative educator endorsement to teach at a public charter school. This law is effective immediately.
Finally, the Governor signed House Bill 4993, sponsored by House Minority Leader Tom Cross (D-Plainfield) and Sen. Linda Holmes (R-Plainfield). The law allows educators to receive general administrative endorsements without the newly-implemented two-year teaching requirement as long as they have been enrolled in an approved program before Aug. 1, 2011, and will finish the program before Jan. 1, 2013. This law is effective immediately.
About National Louis University
Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University comprised of three colleges: National College of Education; College of Arts & Sciences; and College of Management and Business. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations -- a mission it sustains today. The University offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. The University ranks first in the state of Illinois for the number of graduate degrees in education conferred. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit www.nl.edu.