During the General Assembly veto session this past winter big money and a serious lobbying effort embraced an education reform proposal that would virtually eliminate the rights of teachers to strike. A committee was quickly assembled to discuss the reforms, which also included instituting a merit pay system, changing how teachers are evaluated, and modifying the tenure system.
Well, those proposals seem to have fallen by the wayside with the new legislature in place and budget cuts the talk of Springfield. Catalyst Chicago reports that the "rush job" of a bill -- the draft form of which is here (PDF) -- is no where to be found in the current session and that of the 6,231 pieces of legislation filed so far, none "remotely" resemble education reform.
The report adds, "There will be no 'reform' that eliminates collective bargaining in Illinois. This is not Wisconsin." Still, the all-of-a-sudden powerful group, Stand for Children raised big bucks, contributed heavily to influential lawmakers, and hired major lobbyists. Oh, and Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel supports the proposal as well. This bill isn't dead; it's just sleeping.