Editor’s Note: After this story was published, both the teacher’s assistant union and the security officers union representing workers at Decatur Public Schools contacted WCIA to clarify that they were not consulted about this proposal, despite Representative Sue Scherer stating that “everyone” was on board. The story has been updated to reflect this new information.
DECATUR, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — A Decatur lawmaker is trying to make sure students from Dennis Lab Schools get their full summer vacation.
Dennis Lab students started the school year two weeks late. The two Dennis Lab buildings in Decatur were found to be structurally unsafe this past summer and the district set up modular classrooms for students. But they were not ready by the official start of the school year.
Since they started two weeks late, the students are also scheduled to go two weeks longer in this summer.
Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) filed a bill to try and change that. Her bill would allow Decatur Public Schools to extend up to 25 school days for Dennis Lab students by two hours. In exchange, the Dennis Lab students could end their school year at the same time as the rest of the district.
“However many days it takes to make up those maybe 10 lost days of school, and then that way, their last day would be the same as everyone else’s,” Scherer said. “And in so many ways, I think that would be a much better solution.”
Scherer said Decatur Public School Superintendent Dr. Rochelle Clark brought her the idea. She wants to call the bill in October when lawmakers return to Springfield for their Fall veto session.
“We talked at length, the teachers union is on board with this, and the security people are on board their union,” Scherer said. “So everybody is on board with my idea, which came not from me, but from the Superintendent.”
The Decatur Public School Teacher’s Assistant Union and the union representing the security officers at Decatur Public Schools both said they had not been consulted about this proposal. Both unions are in the midst of contract negotiations with the district.