Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield)
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield) spoke out in opposition of a bill that changes how third-party driver's education instructors are evaluated by public school systems.
House Bill 247, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook), requires that third-party driver's education instructors who are contracted out receive the same training as regular instructors in the school system.
"I just want to clarify a few points, the law already states they have to be licensed — that’s not an issue with this bill," Bourne said. "I wanted to ask about what is in the bill. Could you explain the genesis with this bill? What's the specific issue?"
Carroll said the concerns are that some third-party instructors are not up to the standard of other teachers and school systems want a consistent standard.
"Do you know any other instance [in which] the school would do this for a contractor?" Bourne asked. "This is adding another layer of evaluation to the school district to evaluate someone that is not an employee of the district. This is onerous and difficult to implement."
Bourne also asked if the bill was only about the evaluation process.
"To the bill, please vote No," Bourne said. "We cannot continue to add layers and layers of costs and burdens on the school district — these teachers are already licensed educators and licensed by the Secretary of State."
The bill passed with 70 Yes votes and 34 No votes. One member, Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign), voted Present.
The bill states that a school district that contracts with a third party to teach a driver's education course must ensure the teacher meets the educator licensure and endorsement requirements under Article 21B. It states that the third party-instructors must have the same evaluation and observation requirements that apply to non-tenured teachers under Article 24A.
"The teacher evaluation must be conducted by a school administrator employed by the school district and must be submitted annually to the district superintendent and all school board members for oversight purposes," the bill states.
The bill also includes safety-education courses until eighth grade and for driver's education courses in grades 9 through 12.