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Southern Illinois Republican State Representatives Urge JCAR to Reject New Political Activism Training Requirements for Teachers

Southern Illinois – Southern Illinois Republican lawmakers are sounding off in opposition to new regulations that will require teachers to receive ongoing training and measurement in political activism via new “Culturally Responsive Teacher and Leader Standards” (CRTL) proposed by the Illinois State Board of Education.

State Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) is serving in his first term as 115th District State Representative. Jacobs says the new mandates are too much after a year of public unrest and unease.

“The proposed rules from ISBE plainly state teachers must recognize they are pre-programmed with an

inherent bias toward students that do not share a similar background,” Jacobs said.

State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) expressed concern with the entire idea of politicizing the teaching profession amid a current teacher shortage.

“We want culturally-aware teachers in our classrooms, there’s no doubt about that. However, I do not believe our teachers must be trained in the practice of political activism as part of receiving a license to teach in Illinois,” Windhorst said. “I disagree with the assertion in these rules that all teachers are somehow inherently biased. We should be doing everything we can to encourage people to enter the educational field. Unfortunately, the proposed CRTL rules will likely make the teacher shortage worse.”

State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) served as the President of the Benton Elementary School Board for nearly 20 years. Severin’s wife and daughter-in-law are teachers. Severin says he has heard objections to the proposed rules and regulations from both teachers and administrators.

“Parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members are all working as hard as they can to adapt to an ever-changing environment because of the pandemic and Governor Pritzker’s orders,” Severin said. “The Culturally Responsive Teacher and Leader Standards proposed by the Illinois State Board of Education require all teachers to admit they are somehow pre-programmed with inherent bias. The rules go further and ask teachers to take steps to mitigate these pre-supposed biases. This is offensive to the thousands of good-hearted public educators serving our students every day. I am not for the political indoctrination of our teachers.”

The Illinois State Board of Education will present the dozens of new regulations for teachers and schools for a vote before the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules on February 16, 2021, in Springfield. JCAR is made up of an evenly split bipartisan group of 12 Illinois State Senators and State Representatives. When an agency like ISBE introduces a rule like the CRTL standard, JCAR must vote 8-4 to reject the proposed rule, or else the rule takes effect.

Illinois House Republicans are asking constituents to visit ILGA.gov and contact the members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to urge them to reject ISBE’s proposed rule changes. To read the entire list of rules, constituents may visit https://www.isbe.net/Documents/23-24RG-P.pdf

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