House committee recommends two school-related bills
The House Elementary & Secondary Education School Curriculum and Policies Committee voted to report favorably to the House about two bills on Thursday: House Bill 921 and House Bill 922.
State Rep Katie Stuart (D-Collinsville), who sponsored House Bill 921, said it involves providing paraprofessionals who were removed or dismissed from their jobs during the school year and are brought back within 12 months with their same benefits and salaries.
Deanna Sullivan with Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance said her organization opposes the legislation.
"This takes away local bargaining," Sullivan said. "This should be done locally and not by the General Assembly."
Cynthia Reisman of the Illinois Federation of Teachers said her organization favors the legislation.
"This allows recall rights," she said.
Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) questioned why unions were not protecting the paraprofessionals.
"Unions went to back for them," Reisman responded
, "But they weren't about the win that case."
The committee voted 13 to 5 to report the bill favorably to the House floor.
House Bill 922 involves allowing feminine hygiene products in all bathrooms in schools.
Sullivan said her organization wants an appropriation for the bill.
"School districts are finding they're basically providing feminine hygiene products to the whole community," Sullivan said. "They're asking (for an appropriation) if we are going to have this legislation in order to do this. We need to find a better way to make this happen for the students in need."
Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) said it was important for the products to be available.
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) said she understood the concern.
"School districts are also concerned about these being put in elementary school bathrooms, and they're being misused," Bourne said.
The committee voted 11 to 7 to report the bill favorably to the House floor.