Local Teachers React To Education Reform

By Jen Christensen

May 13, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 4:14 AM CDT

The Education Reform bill could soon become law and that has some teachers alarmed.
The Illinois House approved the measure yesterday. It now sits on the governor's desk.  
Local teachers have mixed feelings about what will happen if the bill becomes reality.
25th year teacher Mary Wozniak-Horan is already facing a pension cut and she doesn't like the idea of more rights being taken away from her.  Wozniak-Horan said, "I think that's terrible, I think if we don't have a good contract we are walking backwards in our United States of America."

3rd year teacher Roger Blacet is optimistic the reform bill will lead to kids getting a better education.
Blacet said, "We're not afraid of that at all. It means we're going to have great teachers."

One goal of education reform is to keep the good teachers and dismiss the bad ones. But not everyone is confident that's what will happen.

Peoria Federation of Teachers V.P. Lana Myers said, "In the reality of how things will proceed with this bill, within the district and the state-there could be a lot of variables."

The Peoria Federation of Teachers is keeping a close eye on the bill that would make it harder for the union to strike and take away some collective bargaining rights.

Myers said, "The goal of course we want good teachers in our profession. That's why we enter the profession. But with the subjectivity of this-it could make a big difference on whether a teacher continues in that job."

For people like Mrs. Wozniak-Horan who have spent their lives in the classroom, the changes will give them less job security "That's horrible. It's absolutely horrible." And less opportunity to retire.
Wozniak-Horan said, "I have no problem with teachers being held accountable for their students because they should be-and parents need to be responsible as well."

She would like to see education reform that would lead to smaller classrooms and more one on one time. But that would cost more money and the state just cut 168 million dollars from the education budget.

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