Friday, February 24th - Transgender rights are human rights; Protect our public schools

For coverage of yesterday's statewide day of action, check out @IndivisibleChi's timeline

Transgender Rights are human rights

On Wednesday, the Trump administration rescinded the protections for transgender students put in place by the Obama administration. The original order allowed transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice, corresponding to their true identity. I'll never know why Republicans care so much about things like this, but the fight for transgender rights was just recently the fight for gay rights, and before that the fight for racial equality. Republicans are bound and determined to always come down on the wrong side of history.

Senators Durbin and Quigley have released strong statements against this measure, so please call and thank them. Senator Duckworth has spoken out on twitter, but I think we can ask for for a much stronger statement (and I'd guess one is forthcoming). But regardless, call and let them know this is an important issue to you. They need to know what their constituents care about.

Also, make plans to attend Stand up for Transgender Rights at the Center on Halsted.

Call to Vote against HB610

Please call your Representative and ask them to vote against HB610. I'll just pass along the info making it's way around Facebook. Seems like a solid summary (thanks Scott Welty)

This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17, and starts the defunding process of public schools.
In addition the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation's educational law and provides equal opportunity in education.
ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs. The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch. The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting SN kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.
Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities
-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based
interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.
-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion). Please call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610) introduced by three Republican reps.