Dupage Policy Journal

Dupage Policy Journal

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Wehrli calls driver's-ed instructor bill 'redundant'


By Kyla Asbury | Apr 4, 2019

Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville)

Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) disagreed with a bill that changes how third-party driver's education instructors are evaluated by public school systems.

House Bill 247 was sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) and ensures that third-party driver's education instructors who are contracted out receive the same training as regular instructors in the school system. Wehrli questioned if the bill was a "gut and replace," meaning the bill was completely changed from what it originally encompassed.

"Are these people already required to be licensed?" Wehrli asked, to which Carroll said that they were.

"What exactly does this bill do?" Wehrli questioned, to which Carroll said that the bill makes the process for evaluation consistent for those that are on staff and privately hired.

Carroll added that the bill involves all driver's ed teachers that are contracted with the Board of Education in response to Wehrli's question about the bill's inclusion of summer driving instructors.

"This sounds very redundant to me," Wehrli said. "I’m not sure why we would do this. I'm not sure this bill even has a purpose."

Despite his objection, the bill passed with 70 Yes votes and 34 No votes. One member, Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign), voted Present.

The bill states that a school district that contracts with a third party to teach a driver's education course must ensure that the teacher meets the educator licensure and endorsement requirements under Article 21B. It also states that the third-party instructors must have the same evaluation and observation requirements that apply to non-tenured teachers under Article 24A.

"The teacher evaluation must be conducted by a school administrator employed by the school district and must be submitted annually to the district superintendent and all school board members for oversight purposes," the bill states.

The bill also includes safety-education courses until eighth grade and for driver's education courses in grades nine through 12.

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