Welcome

Thank you for visiting my legislative website.  It is always an honor to serve the people of the 16th Legislative District in the Illinois General Assembly. On my website, you can learn more about me and the issues I work hard to address for our community and our state.   Your opinions are important to me, and I urge you to contact my Springfield or Chicago office if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

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Senator Jacqueline Collins

State Senator, 16th District

052714CM0870“Not enough has been done to keep our young people in the classroom learning. There are no shortcuts. CPS cannot make sustainable gains in attendance without dedicating staff and resources to the problem.”— State Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th)

CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on the final report of the Truancy in Chicago Public Schools Task Force. Collins, concerned about the impact of widespread, chronic absenteeism throughout the state but particularly in CPS, sponsored legislation last year creating the task force and directing it to report back to the General Assembly with findings and recommendations. Senate President John Cullerton appointed Collins to serve on the task force, which held public hearings throughout the spring.

This is a bold, specific, hard-hitting report because it needed to be. Not enough has been done – either in the Chicago Public Schools or in districts throughout the state – to identify and address the root causes of truancy and keep our young people in the classroom learning.

Chronic absenteeism is caused by diverse factors: homelessness, lack of transportation, failure to engage the student, special needs that are not adequately addressed, disciplinary issues and more. A one-size-fits-all approach is simply not good enough. That is why I fully agree with the task force’s conclusion that a permanent statewide commission should be created to monitor progress and continue to address truancy and its causes both in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.

Attendance is central to education, and we have a moral (and often a legal) obligation to school-aged youth; we cannot give up on them simply because they are not present in the classroom. If there is one lesson we can take from today’s report, it’s that there are no shortcuts. CPS cannot make sustainable gains in attendance without dedicating staff and resources to the problem. I intend to stay engaged with CPS and with my colleagues on this task force so we see real changes made and real improvements in children’s lives and opportunities.

Clean Water Initiative photo cropCHICAGO - Oak Lawn is receiving a $12.7 million low-interest loan to combat flooding and protect its drinking water through stormwater infrastructure improvements. A law I co-sponsored to expand the state's Clean Water Initiative made this possible, and Gov. Quinn came to the Oak Lawn community to sign the legislation. Oak Lawn has experienced devastating flash floods during the past year. The full infrastructure repair and construction program Oak Lawn has launched will not only improve residents’ quality of life but also create 1,400 jobs.

The Clean Water Initiative, launched in 2012, set aside $1 billion for communities to rebuild or repair wastewater and drinking water systems in order to protect their residents from contaminated water. With urban flooding on the rise, stormwater management has become a critical piece of the puzzle, because floodwaters can compromise drinking water supplies as well as damaging residential and commercial property. I’m proud to have helped expand this successful financing program to allow communities to address their most pressing infrastructure challenges.

042313br0242“What our young people need most is hope for the future, and vocational programs provide that hope for many students.”

— Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th)

CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on the decision to eliminate the Chicago Public Schools’ last remaining electrical program, located at Simeon Career Academy:

What our young people need most is hope for the future, and vocational programs that offer pathways to the trades provide that hope for many students. I was disappointed to learn last week that Simeon’s electrical program — the only one of its kind remaining in the Chicago Public Schools — had been terminated.

It is my understanding, based on numerous conversations with my constituents, that this program was flourishing, satisfied performance standards and met an established need for vocational education in the communities I represent.

I intend to make inquiries to CPS regarding the rationale behind the decision, and I will continue to push for high-quality career and technical education in our schools so interested students can graduate and find good employment in the trades.

I also wish to express my gratitude to Simeon, electrical program teacher Latisa Kindred and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 134 for giving our youth a vision of future success and the skills to reach their dreams.

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Contact Info

 Chicago Office:

1155 W. 79th St.

Chicago, IL 60620

(773) 224-2830

 

Springfield Office:

M114 Capitol

Springfield, Il 62706

(217) 782-1607

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