The Ninety-Seventh General Assembly of the State of Illinois passed Senate Bill 170. This bill makes multiple changes to the administration of the School of the Deaf and School of the Visually Impaired and establishes a locally held account to administer the Therkelsen/Hansen Fund. In order to ensure money in the Fund and any accrued interest is used for its intended purpose, the Governor issued an amendatory veto to recommend a technical change.
However, the Governor indicated in his amendatory veto that the establishment of a locally held account represents only the first step in a much-needed, comprehensive and substantive examination of education options for blind and/or deaf students in Illinois.
In order to achieve this, a working group has been formed with members representing a variety of stakeholders, including members of the General Assembly, state agency representatives, parents, school administrators, teachers, labor unions and advocacy groups. Under the leadership of Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Julie Smith and Ryan Croke, the working group will be convene over the coming months to examine governance, funding and other issues associated with the education options for blind and/or deaf students.
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