House fails to override veto of class-size bill
A motion to override the governor's veto on a bill that would set goals for schools to have smaller class sizes and report their class size data failed to reach the number of votes needed in the House.
The motion to override the veto was sought during the Nov. 27 House floor session.
The bill, House Bill 5481, amends the school code and sought to have recommended goals for class sizes of 18 students for Kindergarten, 22 students for grades 1 through 5 and 25 students for grades 6 through 12.
The motion to override the veto needed 71 yes votes to pass and only received 69. In order for a motion to override a veto to succeed, it must receive a majority vote.
The bill also required that school boards report the number of students in each class by no later than 60 days of instruction after the beginning of the school year.
Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) asked Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), who sponsored the bill, why the numbers for the class sizes didn't match up with other class numbers that had been researched and set in code.
Guzzardi said the numbers were based on national standards for best practices. He offered to introduce a trailer bill that would make the numbers align better with that previous measure.
"I'd rather we actually get the bill correct on the front end instead of continuing to try and fix everything with a trailer bill on the back end," Breen said on the House floor.
Breen said there was no reason to set the class size goals bill into a statute.
"There are good educational organizations that are opposed to it," Breen said. "This did not reach a veto-proof majority on the front end and really should not reach one today. There's no good reason to set this into statute other than to again set yet another, and apparently conflicting, educational mandate or goal into our code. Please vote no."
Guzzardi called the bill a pro-student and pro-education measure.