The school board of Community High School District 218 learned this week that a significant number of its students read at third- and fifth-grade levels, according to Kevin McCaffrey, the district’s assistant superintendent for instructional services.
That shocked board member Ron Patl, as well as hard-working taxpayers who fund our schools.
“We need to go public with this,” Patl said.
When we pay property taxes, we expect that money to be used to give our neighborhood kids the best education money can buy. Instead, we learn those precious dollars may have been squandered, and we’ll have to pay to fix the problem.
Voters should be incensed.
But just what were District 218’s state lawmakers focused on earlier on that same day in Springfield?
State Sen. Ed Maloney (D-Chicago) and a few others were testifying at the Capitol about another so-called urgent crisis — registering homeschooled students.
One good thing to come of this ongoing fiasco is the creation of the IL Homeschool PAC. We needed that yesterday.
Curt Mercadante, chairman of the Illinois Homeschool PAC, said he remains extremely concerned that the idea will reappear in some form. The bill was tabled by Illinois state Sen. Edward Maloney, a Democrat, on Thursday following intense opposition.
This is not reassuring news:
Maloney, the bill's sponsor, said he will hold meetings during the first week of March to discuss his next move. If any new legislation pertaining to home schooling registration were to be introduced at a later date, it would be "under a different vehicle," he said.
"It depends on the outcome of these discussions," he told FoxNews.com on Friday.
David Smith, Illinois Family Institute, confirmed to me that his group, HSLDA and ICHE were the parties invited to talk about truancy issues with Senator Maloney and school officials. Below is a Maloney quote from the Dana radio show yesterday:
"We will have a discussion relative…primarily to the truancy issue and how we can identify that..with all parties involved..I’m hopeful that we can come up with some way…some…fashioning some sort of legislation that will be able to identify those students without invading anybody’s privacy. "
Illinois homeschoolers don't want any legislation that will infringe on their rights. Any negotiations are concerning if they ever end in compromise. 4,000 Illinois homeschoolers in the Capitol showed the resolve about that issue.