Category: Latest

Senator Terry Link speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – A longtime champion of stricter tobacco legislation, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) moved today to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old.

“For the first time in years, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise,” Link said. “Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 will cut down on access for teenagers and curb the next generation of adult smokers.”

It has been more than 10 years since Link’s Smoke Free Illinois legislation banning smoking in most public places went in to effect. Since Smoke Free Illinois, there has been a 20 percent decrease in hospitalization of various smoking-related diseases. But with the advent of e-cigarettes, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise for the first time in years.

“Smoke Free Illinois was a major step forward in improving the health of our residents and making Illinois a better place to live,” Link said. “Tobacco 21 builds on those efforts and moves us one step closer to a healthier, smoke-free Illinois.”

Limiting access to cigarettes has proven effective in reducing the rate of tobacco use among teens. In October 2014, Evanston became the first Illinois community to adopt Tobacco 21. Since then, tobacco use among high schoolers has dropped by 37.5 percent.

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Category: Releases

05042017CM1433WebResizeGURNEE – Lake County schools will have a new tool available to help them alleviate the substitute teacher shortages thanks to State Senator Terry Link (Vernon Hills).

House Bill 4742, which will allow the use of recruiting firms to help find substitute teachers, was signed into law Saturday and takes effect immediately.

“The substitute teacher shortage has immediate consequences for the quality of education our children receive in Lake County schools,” Link said. “This new law will help us recruit qualified teachers to guarantee students receive the best possible educational possibilities.”

Previously, Illinois law did not allow a school district to contract with a recruiting firm to find substitute teachers. The new law simply does away with the outdated prohibition. It takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

“Recruiting firms are a modern method to employ workers. Giving our school districts another tool to fill temporary positions will help ensure children do not miss out on vital learning opportunities,” Link said.

In order to qualify for the program, a district must demonstrate to ISBE that due to its substitute teacher shortage it is unable to find an adequate amount of substitute or retired teachers and has exhausted all other efforts.

All substitute teachers provided by a recruiting firm must follow all mandated state laws, rules and screening requirements and be paid on the same wage scale as other substitute teachers not provided by the firm. Link said this will help ensure teachers are fit to be in the classroom.

One in five Illinois teaching positions previously have gone unfilled. Experts claim that licensure requirements have led to a smaller pool of available teachers and substitutes.

Link also supported House Bill 5627, which will ease restrictions to ensure more qualified teachers – such as licensed out-of-state educators – are available to Illinois schools.

“We need excellent educators in our classrooms,” Link said. “These new laws will work to reduce unnecessary barriers to becoming an educator and help Illinois see an influx of teachers in schools across our communities.”

Category: Releases

Senator Terry Link speaks on the Senate floorVERNON HILLS – As the 2018-2019 school year kicks off, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) is proud to announce Community High School District 128 was named 2019’s best school district in the state.

District 128 received its ranking from the school district- and community- ranking website Niche.com based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as test scores, college data and ratings.

“The 30th State Senate District is a great place to live, work and learn,” Link said. “I’m proud to represent Community High School District 128 and I congratulate them on this tremendous achievement.”

District 128 was also rated the safest school district in Illinois, the second-ranked district for teacher ratings, the third-ranked district to teach at and the fourth-ranked school district for athletes.

The school district was also ranked 13th best in the nation.

Other schools in the 30th State Senate District recognized in the 2019 rankings include:

• Adlai E. Stevenson High School, No. 4 public high school in Illinois
• Lake Forest Academy, No. 2 private high school in Illinois

“A good education is the best gift we can give our children,” Link said. “The teachers in the Lake County area are inspiring and growing the future leaders of our great state.”

District 128 has been providing a quality high school education for more than 40 years. The district's schools – Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School – serve all or part of the communities of Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Green Oaks, Rondout, Mundelein, and Mettawa, as well as surrounding unincorporated areas.

Click here to read the complete list of 2019’s best school districts in Illinois.

Category: Releases

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