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COVID-19 education bill moves to Illinois Senate

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Saturday, May 23, 2020  |  Article  |  By Greg Bishop | The Center Square

Education--Elementary and Secondary (36)

(The Center Square) – Illinois state lawmakers are working to codify changes for education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seniors across the state graduated high school this year without a ceremony, or that last-day-of-school celebration, because state officials closed schools for in-person instruction to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

Lawmakers on Friday in Springfield debated the nuances of an omnibus education measure that touches on remote learning, teacher licensure and even diplomas issued during the COVID-19 crisis.

Senate Bill 1569 had several amendments added. Some elements of the measure provide remote and blended remote learning requirements when a governor declares a disaster due to a public health emergency. Another provision deals with waiving certain requirements for someone seeking an educator license during a public health emergency.

The measure also deems any diploma from this school year in Illinois valid.

“With respect to the evidence-based funding formula, provides that an organizational unit that meets specified criteria shall have district intervention money added to its base funding minimum," according to the text of the bill.

Senate Bill 1569 now heads to the Illinois Senate.

It remains unclear if public schools will resume in-person instruction this fall.