Linda Chapa LaVia is one of the best legislators…

… in the State of Illinois. And Dave and I want to thank the Democratic State Rep from Aurora for appearing chapa lavia 2on the show during what has most certainly been a most difficult week. And you can listen to that interview right here:

Linda talked about her latest Springfield kerfuffle (poor, poor, put upon Republicans), why charter schools need to stay under local control, and why the Illinois High School Association needs to have oversight.

Another thank you to Todd for calling in with a great question on exactly where charter school students come from.

Next week, former Elgin City Councilman and new State Rep Anna Moeller should be able to join us. But as for now, enjoy the show!




2 thoughts on “Linda Chapa LaVia is one of the best legislators…

  1. First let me say Linda is my rep, I think she’s great, I’ve voted for her every time, and I’d vote for her for Aurora mayor. I’m completely w/ her on the charter school issue. And I’m not exactly in love w/ the IHSA. I work in a high school, I’ve worked state tournaments, I’ve interacted w/ the ISHA office, and I recognize it has a lot of warts and blemishes. But I also think you’re being about as fair and balanced as Fox News. I read thru the IHSA’s responses to many of Linda’s point on the house floor on their website, and while I took a lot of it w/ a 5 pound bag of salt, I do think the IHSA also has some valid points. The programs for special needs students is an example; the IHSA didn’t have any for a long time, they have some now, and more will be coming — before Linda ever filed the resolution. The whole photography issue is kind of a sham; the Illinois Press Association filed suit to allow the newspapers to take pictures NOT for publication, but for THEM to sell to the athlete’s parents. The IPA couldn’t care less if the parents ever get to take a photo. And you can’t realistically just open up the floor or field for everybody in the stadium to come down to take pictures. There has to be some limits, just for safety’s sake.

    Here’s my biggest concern. I said I took a lot of the IHSA’s words w/ a 5 pound bag of salt — the same bag of salt I take anything that comes out of the Illinois Legislature, U.S. Congress, or the mouth of any politician. They ALL have to be very carefully listened to, and you need to read the actual written legislation. Linda says putting the IHSA under the ISBE isn’t her intention — then she needs to rewrite her resolution because I read it and that’s the impression I got, too. And I’m not the IHSA, it was INEVITABLE (and intentional?) they’d be put on the defensive. Intentions mean absolutely nothing once any kind of legislation has been passed. All that counts is what’s actually written down. I believe that moving the IHSA under any state agency, or under the actual control of politicians, will make it worse, not better. Costs will go up, it will be chaos, and while a few of the problems being talked about may get better, some of them will end up worse off, and new problems will inevitably be created. Look at the great track record we have in this state — how can ANYONE think this government and our politicians can improve anything? Yeah, legislative oversight works so well — just look at Congressman Issa and what a wonderful job HE’S done. As I said, the more involved the state is, the more expensive it will be and the more likely that political influence will interfere with the primary function of educating our youth.

    Which segues into my final point. As someone who has dedicated my career to educating, nurturing, and helping to develop our youth, I am very disappointed in Linda’s talking about athletics being these kid’s “careers”. That is not the purpose of high school sports and SHOULD NEVER BE. The majority of high school athletes will never even go out for sports in college. Of those who do, the majority will never get any scholarship money for sports; there are a lot more kids receiving academic scholarships than there are athletic (none of my own received athletic money, but they all got significant academic money). And of the top level college athletes, only a very small percentage will go on to professional sports. I’ve dealt with a lot of those parents who are convinced THEIR little boy/girl is the best athlete ever and will get all kinds of scholarship offers, so they put all their effort toward that, and pay for all kinds of private coaching, etc., only to have their kid end up w/o anything. If they’d put that same effort into academics, that kid would almost certainly have gotten a scholarship. Ironic because I work in a very affluent district and for the majority of these parents they can afford college tuition w/o the scholarship anyway.

    Yes, the IHSA needs oversight — and has it. It has a Board of Directors, elected by the membership from around the state. The Principals and Superintendents of all the schools, professional educators dedicated to our youth, and in turn with the oversight of local school boards elected by the voters of their districts, select those directors. Could the oversight be improved? Probably. One way would be to add 2 or 3 public members to the board, perhaps appointed by the ISBE, Governor, House Education Committee, Senate Education Committee, etc. Perhaps the right kind of friendly request to the IHSA Board, done quietly in a non-adversarial manner, would receive a positive reception. Of course, they have a Constitution and By-Laws to follow so the proposal would have to go thru a process, but that honey might accomplish more than vinegar. If it doesn’t happen, then maybe go the flashy route of press conferences, hearings, and legislation leading to a takeover of high school sports by the state government. Then the legislature will fund all the costs associated w/ high school sports. Hey, they could do something like create a lottery and dedicate all those funds to schools, and end all funding problems for the schools forever. I confess that’s not really my idea; where did I hear that from?

  2. Jeff,

    Though I don’t agree with everything you put forth, I certainly have to give you credit for a very well reasoned post! Carry on sir!


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