CARBONDALE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon applauded the House of Representatives for passing Classrooms First Commission legislation that will make it easier for school districts to voluntarily consolidate. House Bill 2267, sponsored by Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), passed with a strong vote of 106-3 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Simon, the state’s point person on education reform, chaired the bipartisan Classrooms First Commission, which examined ways to help school districts reduce duplicative spending and improve educational offerings. The resulting legislation approved by the House would allow non-contiguous school districts to consolidate, for faster reorganizations in some qualifying districts and high school districts to tie consolidation dates to capital funding.
“It is important that school districts throughout the state have the tools they need in order to help students succeed. This legislation will put our students – not bureaucracy – first,” said Simon. “I would like to thank Rep. Gordon-Booth for her leadership in moving this bill through the House, and I look forward to working with Sen. Andy Manar and members of the Senate to send this bill to the governor’s desk.”
The Classrooms First Commission was comprised of P-20 stakeholders including teachers, administrators, legislators and parents, and it held public hearings across the state on school district consolidation last year. You can learn more about the commission’s recommendations here.