Lawmakers discuss changes in education - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Lawmakers discuss changes in education

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Illinois -

WSIL -- Lawmakers discussed new standards for Illinois schools in Chicago on Friday for the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee Hearing. 

While Illinois teachers and administrators are worried about the lack of a state budget, they also have to think about what those new standards will entail. 

The No Child Left Behind Act is fading away and a new set of rules will take it's place: the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The new Act gives more power and flexibility to the states, rather than grading all schools the same way throughout the nation.

Jason Helfer, with the Illinois State Board of Education, said the board is traveling to different areas of the state to get input from everyone on what things need to be changed in order to make this new act more successful than the last. 

"I've experienced in some of our stakeholder meetings, where people have come up to us and said, 'we know that you already know what you're going to do, we know this is all for show,' and I want to be very clear that is not the case at all," Hefler said. 

State Rep, John Cavaletto, R-Salem, is on the education committee and has already attended one of the "listening tour" hearings, where he said he learned a lot about the new act.

"It gives local control to the school boards and that's where it should be. It should never have been at the federal level. The feds, to me, should not be in education," Cavaletto said. 

And with the lawmaker's 38 years of experience in education, he knows of one thing he wants to get changed. 

"I think we need more guidance counselors. I would like to see at least a guidance counselor for every 250 kids," he said. 

In southern Illinois, there have already been hearings in Vandalia, Johnston City and Belleville. 

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