In response to parents and teachers warning that the school curriculum is being overrun by testing rather than teaching, State Senator Bill Cunningham sought to remedy the situation at the Capitol.
Cunningham, who is finishing his second year in the Illinois Senate, sponsored legislation to give teachers more freedom to teach. His efforts were supported by numerous parents and teachers who turned out at a Senate Education Committee in Chicago to testify about the negative effects nearly 38 hours of testing each school year can have on students.
Cunningham’s proposals sparked an ongoing debate at the Capitol and within the education community about the proper
role of testing and making sure teaching is the top priority for our schools, and that students and educators alike aren’t overburdened with bureaucratic testing.
The situation reflects how Cunningham remains dedicated and responsive to the needs of the people of the 18th Senate District. Cunningham also made public safety a major focus this year.
After hearing of 911 operators who would legally tip off criminals on the actions of law enforcement to help them carry out their crimes, Cunningham cosponsored legislation to change the law. Now, 911 operators who attempt to help criminals would be charged with a Class 3 felony.
Additionally, private schools currently do not have to enforce the same safety standards as public schools. Thanks to Senate Bill 2710, which Cunningham sponsored, children in private schools will now have the same basic protections as children in public schools. He also cosponsored legislation requiring all schools in the state to have electronic safety plans in place. Both measures aim to increase school safety for all crisis scenarios.
Back in the 18th Senate District, Cunningham maintained an aggressive outreach schedule in an effort to ensure he is in tune with the district’s needs. He hosted seminars designed to help people protect themselves and their homes from theft and burglary.
And while he focuses on helping clean up Springfield, he also helped local residents clean out clutter in their homes. Cunningham sponsored recycling and shredding events, so constituents could responsibly dispose of electronics and ensure sensitive – but no longer needed – documents were properly destroyed.