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Springfield, IL...State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) has been appointed as one of four legislators to serve on the education advocacy Illinois P-20 Council. Established by law in 2009, the Council seeks to improve the state’s system for a quality education from birth through adulthood.

“I welcome this opportunity to collaborate with state agencies, education institutions and organizations, employers, and community leaders to further the education and skill competencies of our citizens,” Pritchard said. “For Illinois to stay competitive, our workers must have a sound education foundation and the latest job skills required by employers.”

The P-20 Council has the ambitious goal of increasing by 50 percent the proportion of Illinoisans with certificates and education degrees beyond high school in the next 9 years. Today, only about 41 percent of the state's nearly 7 million working-age adults hold at least a two-year certificate or college degree and that needs to increase to 60 percent.

“This Council is looking at all the aspects of our educational and human support systems to ensure that the required education is achievable for all people across the State,” Pritchard continued. “If we are serious about building our economy and creating more good paying jobs, we must make a highly educated work force a top priority in Illinois.”

Representative Pritchard’s appointment was made Monday by House Leader Jim Durkin and follows another appointed last week to sit on the newly formed School Funding Reform Commission. Pritchard is a leader for education issues in the legislature and serves on numerous House Education Committees. His background includes serving as a K-12 school board member and on a university commission to reform adult education.
Illinois is bracing for high temperatures, which are expected to reach over 90 degrees by Thursday or Friday. Humidity levels are going to make the temperatures feel like over 100 degrees. The US national weather service anticipates that the heat wave rolling through central and southern US states will be one of the worst in the last few decades. While Illinois will not receive the brunt of the heat wave, temperatures could get to dangerous levels.

Cooling Centers
Please share this information with those who do not have air conditioning and need a place to stay cool.
Find a cooling center near you:
http://www.illinois.gov/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx

Additionally, Tollway Oasis locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Department of Human Services cooling centers are open during normal business hours from 8:30AM - 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.
Chicago, IL…Today, State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) joined Governor Rauner in announcing the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral commission to reach a compromise for a new, adequate and equitable PK-12 school funding formula. The Governor said he has the agreement of all legislative leaders to appoint members with the task of drawing upon the work of many others over the past 4 years and proposing bipartisan legislation by February 1. Illinois Secretary of Education, Beth Purvis will chair the commission and work closely with Illinois State Board of Education Chair Rev. James Meeks.

Representative Pritchard, who is Republican Spokesman for the House Education Funding Task Force, is among the legislators named to the Commission by Republican Leader Jim Durkin. “I look forward to drafting a bipartisan solution to the school funding inequities,” said Pritchard. “Education is a basic right of citizens that provides a pathway to better careers and quality of life.”

Illinois is last nationally in the percent of funding the state provides per student and has the biggest gap in funding per student from one district to another across the state the legislator said. “We must prioritize more state funding for education, relieve some of the local property tax burden that goes to education and be certain every district has adequate funding based on the needs of their students.”
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced that it will provide the College Board’s SAT exam, including a writing component, at no cost to all public high school juniors during the 2016-17 school year. The SAT will replace the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment as the high school state and federal accountability exam in Illinois. Both the SAT and PARCC tests align with the Illinois Learning Standards, but the SAT provides a college-reportable score for admissions purposes. 

Illinois students have traditionally taken the ACT college entrance exam. However, when deciding which testing company to use, ISBE found that the SAT is more closely aligned with state learning standards and will cost less to administer statewide. The SAT also offers more help and learning services to students. For more information on the SAT and where to find help, click here.

The decision was heavily influenced by the listening tour ISBE conducted, feedback from school districts, and the state’s current budget climate.
The listening tour and school administrators found overwhelmingly that equitable access to a quality college entrance exam was essential in providing future opportunities to all students. They also stressed that the amount of testing time and the number of assessments administered to students need to be reduced. By providing the SAT for free to all juniors during the school day, instead of PARCC, the state can eliminate redundancy and maximize the value of student testing time.

Students in grades 3-8 will continue to take the PARCC assessment. PARCC results will continue to provide educators with data that may be used to provide individualized support to students while preparing them for their educational future. 
Springfield, IL… Governor Rauner has signed a bill reforming regulations on boating that was introduced by State Representative Bob Pritchard’s (R-Hinckley). House Bill 4369 removes requirements that participants in a sanctioned and insured boat race in Illinois have a valid Boating Safety Certificate of Competence.

Pritchard said current regulations discourage out-of-state boat racers from participating in Illinois events and makes it impossible for youth between the ages of 12 to 18 to compete. “A constituent alerted me to limitations in the current law that were discouraging participation in Illinois races,” the Representative said. “This change will not affect boating safety and will help encourage participation in races especially from other states and increase the tourism dollars these participants will bring to Illinois.”

The change in law removes the requirement that youth have an adult riding with them during races sanction by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and that racers have Illinois Certificates of Competence. “This change only affects sanctioned races and does not change requirements for pleasure boating, Pritchard explained. “I fully support boating safety, but also want to make Illinois more inviting for tourism and participation in our events.”


Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
July 5, 2016
In This Issue:
  Ø  Citizen Anger Results in Partial Budget
  Ø  Other Legislative Actions Last Week
  Ø  Impact of Budget Crisis Felt Across State
  Ø  IDOT Averts Project Shutdowns
  Ø  New Gun Law Proposed
  Ø  Concerns about Electronic Waste Increase
  Ø  Credit Rating Cut Means Higher Interest Costs
  Ø  Illinois Residents Brace for Higher Healthcare Premiums
  Ø  Vehicle Owners to See Relief

Citizen Anger Results in Partial Budget
It was the anger of citizens 240 years ago that resulted in the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of our nation’s democracy.  I believe it was similar citizen anger, this time directed toward our elected officials, that resulted in a partial budget being passed last week. 
The pressure for a full-year budget had been building since July 2015.   However, I believe it was the prospects of many schools and universities not opening this fall at the same time that legislators were campaigning for election that forced political leaders to finally allow a budget compromise. 
Make no mistake this partial budget is only a bridge to January; for the second fiscal year Illinois has failed to adopt a full-year budget and is the only state since the Great Depression to fail twice in this constitutional duty.   
Like last year, K-12 education is the only part of the budget to receive a full- year appropriation, which is $1 billion more than last year.  It was significant that the plan includes the Governor’s call for full funding of the school foundation level and $250 million more for districts with fewer property tax resources.  
SB2047 provides funding for road construction, colleges and universities, food and medical services at state prisons, critical human services and pass-through of federal program dollars.  Contact my office if you have questions about specific program funding.