Rep. Breen Participates in DuPage School Administrators’ Public Education Conversation

Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) and other DuPage County legislators met local school superintendents and administrators on Tuesday, April 7, at the DuPage Regional Office of Education Center for Professional Learning, in Lombard, to discuss issues related to public education. The goal was to provide a forum for legislators and administrators to find ways to work together to solve problems facing DuPage County school districts. The discussion with administrators covered several key educational issues, including pension reform, problems with the new PARRC standardized tests, the negative financial impact of unfunded mandates, and a proposed new state funding formula (SB1).

“I'm committed to ensuring that every child in DuPage County receives a world-class education,” said Breen. “Our educators and school administrators are on the front lines of ensuring that high-quality education. We need to trust their lived experience, instead of micromanaging classrooms with more unnecessary and unfunded mandates.” Breen was pleased that one of the outcomes of this discussion was bipartisan openness to reducing those mandates. “For instance, we learned that the state requires teachers to watch half-hour videos on dealing with cuts and bloody noses every year. Legislators on both sides agreed that, if videos are to be required, at the very least, they shouldn’t be required every single year. Easing or lifting excessive burdens like these will allow more time for teaching and tutoring. That’s a win for students, teachers, and taxpayers.”

The School Funding Reform Act, SB1, also raised concerns at the meeting, as it would completely overhaul the formula for how much money the state provides K-12 schools. “As a member of the bipartisan task force charged to oversee this legislation, I am deeply concerned that this ‘reform’ is merely a way to redistribute money away from successful DuPage schools to failing Chicago schools. Some reform of our state’s school funding formula may be necessary, but the burden shouldn’t rest on the backs of suburban homeowners. DuPage districts shouldn’t be punished for their success – we need to reform failing districts first, before we have any conversations about spending more tax dollars on those districts,” noted Breen.

The event was hosted by the DuPage Principals Association and DuPage Regional Office of Education.

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