Sen. Koehler

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler led a measure through the Senate that would create requirements for geographical, racial and ethnic diversity for any new task force, blue ribbon panel, commission or organization on education.

“Chicago and its neighboring communities don’t understand the issues rural school districts face, so why aren’t they properly represented in these group panels?” said Koehler (D – Peoria). “This initiative gives accurate representation to all schools affected by education group panels, so that we can address every need our schools have.”

Senate Bill 1786 would require any task force, blue ribbon panel, commission or organization appointed by the State Board of Education, state superintendent of education, the governor or statewide legislators to appoint or mandate representatives that reflect these requirements.

If a school task force or committee is full of Chicago appointees, they’re not going to understand the unique concerns that a rural school district may present to them,”  said Koehler. “You don’t see kids in Chicago traveling across the county to get to school. They have different challenges than our schools do.”

Senate Bill 1786 passed the Senate Thursday. It now heads to the House for further consideration.