BlueStarSPRINGFIELD – The Blue Star Family Platoon recently named State Sen. Bill Cunningham a Blue Star Honor Roll Legislator for his support of military families. Cunningham is co-sponsoring House Bill 5872, which would allow the state of Illinois to issue Blue Star Banner license plates to the direct families of active military members.   

For nearly 100 years, military families have proudly displayed Blue Stars at their homes in support of their family members fighting abroad. Cunningham hopes to give families the same ability to show their support on their vehicles.

“This legislation is a simple reminder that we need to continue to support our military families. Having a loved one fighting for our country thousands of miles away, while being a source of immense pride for these families, is also incredibly difficult. We must continue to stand up for them as a community during these tough times,” Cunningham said.

House Bill 5872 recently passed the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 105-3 and is currently in the Senate Committee on Assignments.  

 
Category: Press Releases

cunningham-042514-testing-hearingCHICAGO – State Sen. Bill Cunningham held a subject-matter only hearing in Chicago on Friday regarding Senate Bills 2156 and 3460. Both pieces of legislation have been brought forward with the intention of limiting the amount of standardized testing students must participate in within the Chicago Public School District.

Under the current standards, students participate in up to 38 hours of standardized state testing every school year which adds up to nearly an entire week dedicated to testing instead of learning. As a result, some students can fall behind - something Senator Cunningham doesn’t think is acceptable.

“As a parent and a legislator, I have heard from countless educators in our community about the excessive tests they are forced to administer every school year,” Cunningham said. “This is why I’ve decided to sponsor two pieces of legislation that could greatly reduce the amount of state standardized testing schools are required to conduct every year.”

Senate Bill 2156 would directly limit the number of standardized tests to four annually, two of which must be state assessments and the other two would be for teacher evaluations. In addition, Senate Bill 3460 would not allow for the administration of State-developed tests to kindergarten, first and second grades for any reason other than diagnostic purposes.

The hearing was held in Chicago at the Michael A. Bilandic building.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – The Senate Education Committee will hold a subject-matter-only hearing regarding Senate Bill 2156 and Senate Bill 3460 this Friday. Both pieces of legislation look to limit the amount of standardized tests students are given in a school year. Cunningham is concerned that students spend excessive amounts of time taking standardized tests and not enough time learning new material, causing them to fall behind.

Who: Sen. Cunningham and Senate Education Committee          

What: Education Subject-Matter-Only Committee Hearing regarding Senate Bills 2156 and 3460 

When: 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 25

Where: C600, Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., Chicago

 

Category: Press Releases

cunningham-040114-schl-sftySPRINGFIELD –In an effort to promote uniform public safety laws in all Illinois schools, yesterday State Sen. Bill Cunningham passed legislation requiring non-public schools to annually meet with local safety officials. Unlike public schools, non-public schools do not currently have to hold annual meetings with local police and fire departments to discuss safety measures.  

“Children in private schools need the same protections as those in public schools. Even in the safest neighborhoods, crisis scenarios do happen. This is not just about planning for a school shooter, but also for fires, tornados and other natural disasters,” Cunningham said.

In 2005, the School Safety Drill Act established minimum safety plan requirements for all public schools in Illinois. This legislation would extend the same requirements to all non-public schools.

Senate Bill 2710, which passed out of the Illinois Senate today with a 51-0 vote, will now move to the Illinois House. 

Category: Press Releases

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