Charter school bill signing HB3232CHICAGO — State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) proudly looked on last Thursday as Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law stricter rules governing the way charter schools conduct their admissions lotteries and spend public money. Collins sponsored the legislation, House Bill 3232, in response to high-profile charter school scandals that left families and taxpayers concerned about transparency and accountability in charter education.

“I was pleased to work with educators, school districts and people of goodwill in the charter community who agree that high standards are absolutely necessary whenever public money is being spent,” Collins said.

Earlier this summer, the governor signed another law Collins sponsored on educational choice. House Bill 4591 ensures that state funding stays with students whenever they transfer from a charter school back to a traditional public school operated by a school district, and vice-versa.

Category: Press Releases

042313br0242“What our young people need most is hope for the future, and vocational programs provide that hope for many students.”

— Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th)

CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on the decision to eliminate the Chicago Public Schools’ last remaining electrical program, located at Simeon Career Academy:

What our young people need most is hope for the future, and vocational programs that offer pathways to the trades provide that hope for many students. I was disappointed to learn last week that Simeon’s electrical program — the only one of its kind remaining in the Chicago Public Schools — had been terminated.

It is my understanding, based on numerous conversations with my constituents, that this program was flourishing, satisfied performance standards and met an established need for vocational education in the communities I represent.

I intend to make inquiries to CPS regarding the rationale behind the decision, and I will continue to push for high-quality career and technical education in our schools so interested students can graduate and find good employment in the trades.

I also wish to express my gratitude to Simeon, electrical program teacher Latisa Kindred and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 134 for giving our youth a vision of future success and the skills to reach their dreams.

Category: Press Releases

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Category: Press Releases

030414 js 0519LSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Kanerva v. Weems that a 2012 law altering state retirees’ health insurance benefits violated the Pensions Clause of the Illinois Constitution:

The Illinois Supreme Court has resoundingly affirmed what I have always known to be true: that our state constitution protects public employees and does not allow state government to break its promises.

In 2012, I voted against the law the high court has now declared unconstitutional, because changing the rules on individuals who have based financial decisions on their constitutionally guaranteed benefits is no way to treat those who have dedicated their lives to serving the people of this state.

I have also refused to support the General Assembly’s attempts to unilaterally diminish the pension benefits due to our teachers, university employees and state employees, placing the burden of Illinois’ financial woes on the backs of faithful public servants.

I am grateful that our judicial system stands firm for the constitution and against abandoning promises when the obligations of our laws become burdensome. I urge my colleagues to broaden the scope of options on the table, honestly examining our corporate tax structure as we revisit the question of public employee benefits and their impact on the budget.

Category: Press Releases

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