WESTCHESTER – Democratic State Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-7th, recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where he was invited to address the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Education Braintrust at their Annual Legislative Conference. Rep. Welch specifically addressed eliminating the schools to prison pipeline. The schools to prison pipeline is a pernicious problem that undermines educational opportunity for African-Americans.
Panelists addressed key efforts to break the pipeline including fair discipline initiatives, effective juvenile justice reform, and mentoring. Rep. Welch‘s presentation focused on his 12 years of work on the Proviso Township High School District 209 Board of Education, and he also discussed important legislative initiatives that he has sponsored as a freshman legislator such as HB129, Bring Your Parents to School Day. “I was honored to take part in such an important discussion, ” Welch said Tuesday. “I was happy to showcase Proviso on the national stage.” Rep. Welch also highlighted the importance of fair and equitable funding for public schools.
Joining Rep. Welch on the panel to discuss stopping the schools to prison pipeline were Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Harry Lawson, Jr., Associate Director, National Education Association, Human and Civil Rights Department, Federick Ingram, President, United Teachers of Dade, Florida, Judge Stephen C. Teske, Chief Judge, Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Georgia, and Connie D. Franklin, CEO of All Angles Education Consulting, LLC.
Rep. Chris Welch Denounces SB16
Welch Co-Sponsors House Resolution Calling for a more Equitable Approach
WESTCHESTER – Freshman Democratic State Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch has joined the chorus of Illinois House members denouncing Senate Bill 16, a massive education funding reform bill proposed by downstate freshmen Senator Andy Manar of Decatur. On Tuesday,Welch signed on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution HR1276 urging the members of the 98th General Assembly to cease efforts to pass SB16. Welch‘s sponsorship of HR1276 gives the bill bi-partisan support. To view the complete text of House Resolution 1276, please visit www.ilga.gov.
According to HR1276, the purpose of SB16 was to propose education funding that provides adequate, equitable, transparent, and accountable distribution of funds to school districts that will prepare students for achievement and success after high school. However, if passed, several schools in the 7th Representative District stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars including Proviso Township High School District 209 and Westchester School District 92.
Prior to becoming State Representative in January 2013, Rep. Welch served on the Proviso School Board from November 2001 to May 2013. He served as Board Chair for a decade, and he led the district in the creation of the Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA). Newsweek Magazine recently named PMSA one of the best high schools in the nation.
“SB16 is a disaster. If this bill passes in its current form, SB16 would devastate schools all across the 7th District and the State of Illinois,” Welch said Tuesday. “Schools in my district need more funding, not less.”
Rep. Welch, a long term school board member, a school attorney, and a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys, spoke last Thursday in Washington D.C. on how to stop the schools to prison pipeline. A key component of Welch‘s presentation was equitable funding for schools.
“I’m not against what Sen. Manar is trying to do in principle. I just think there is a more equitable and reasonable approach to education funding reform,” Welch said Tuesday. VFP
Rep. Chris Welch serves all or most of the following west suburban communities: Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, LaGrange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, Westchester, and Western Springs.