Quinn signs laws focused on school children

By WEEK Reporter

August 8, 2012 Updated Aug 8, 2012 at 7:44 PM CDT

CHICAGO, Ill -- Governor Pat Quinn signed three new laws on Wednesday designed to make Illinois school children safer through immunizations, anti-bullying measures and alternative education programs.

"We are working every day to strengthen education in Illinois," Governor Quinn said.  "As millions of students prepare to go back to school later this month, these new laws will put vital public health data in the hands of parents, protect our children from bullying and improve their health."

House Bill 5013 requires public and registered nonpublic schools make immunization and health exam statistics publicly available.  Illinois requires vaccinations, but according to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), more than 60,000 students were not in compliance with immunization mandates during the 2010-2011 school year.

House Bill 1473 is designed to allow the Chicago Board of Education to implement a program to break down barriers between students of different backgrounds.  The law is effective immediately.

Finally, Quinn signed Senate Bill 3259, which creates the Commission for High School Graduation Achievement and Success to help boost high school graduation rates.  The Commission will examine alternative education programs in Illinois and other states. 

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