Student veteranSPRINGFIELD – Students who are serving or have served in the military now have easier access to tailored support services on campus under a law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“Students have faced unbelievable stress over the past year, and current and former military students are often under additional pressure,” Murphy said. “With the fall semester on the horizon, it’s important that we spread the word about available mental health resources.”

Currently, public colleges and universities must designate one employee to coordinate services for veteran and active military students. The employee’s contact information and a brief summary of their services must be available on the campus’ homepage and promotional mailings for student applications.

The new law requires the information to be available on the institution’s social media accounts as well.

“The resources already exist—we just have to ensure they reach the students they’re intended for,” Murphy said. “More and more, young adults are getting their news via social media. It’s time we take advantage of it as a means to share important information easily and instantly.”

Murphy introduced a similar measure last year, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support in March 2020 but was tabled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law, originally Senate Bill 641, was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.

Classroom smSPRINGFIELD – To better understand the prevalence of bullying and violence in Illinois schools, a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will strengthen incident reporting requirements.

“Nationwide rates of violence between students are alarming—to ensure we’re keeping our students safe, we need a deeper understanding of the issue in Illinois,” Murphy said. “The first step toward solving any problem is gathering information.”

The law requires the Illinois State Board of Education to collect data on incidents of violence that occurred on school grounds or during school-related activities that resulted in a student’s out-of-school suspension, expulsion or removal to an alternative setting.

ISBE is required to post the number of incidents recorded in each district on its public Illinois School Report Card website.

During the 2017-18 school year, an estimated 962,300 violent incidents occurred in U.S. public schools nationwide, according to the most recent School Survey on Crime and Safety administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Seventy-one percent of schools reported having at least one violent incident.

“When it comes to protecting student safety, transparency must be a priority,” Murphy said. “Stronger incident reporting requirements will help us identify problems and find solutions.”

The law, originally Senate Bill 633, was signed into law Friday. ISBE must begin publishing this data in the 2022-23 school year.

School masksSPRINGFIELD – Parents can now enjoy the peace of mind that videos of their students at school won’t be shared with unauthorized parties under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) removing the video recording requirement from the Illinois edTPA teacher licensing assessment.

“In order to gain a teaching license, educators in training have been forced to put kids’ privacy—and in some cases, their safety—at risk,” Murphy said. “With new cybersecurity threats being discovered every day, this law ensures our students are protected.”

Under the new law, student teachers cannot be required to videotape themselves or their students in order to earn a license.

Previously, student teachers in Illinois had to record themselves and their students on video to pass the edTPA, an assessment required for their teaching license. Videos were then uploaded and sent to a third-party vendor for evaluation. The edTPA required just two short segments of video, but student teachers were encouraged to record hours of footage to choose from.

The law was sponsored in the House by State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago).

“Student teachers need to spend their training time learning how to be teachers, not learning how to be video producers,” Guzzardi said. “Our bill makes sure that sensitive student data is protected, and that teacher trainees can get away from the distraction of this high-stakes film project and back to their real work: preparing to educate the next generation.”

The law still allows teacher education programs to videotape for in-house teaching purposes, and licensed teachers and administrators can still film students in order to gain National Board Certification or for training, sporting events or promotional purposes.

“Uploading videos of children to a third-party vendor is unnecessary and potentially dangerous,” Murphy said. “There are more secure ways to assess our student teachers’ performance.”

The law, originally Senate Bill 808, was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.

Murphy Small Business Tours1

DES PLAINES – After receiving a strong positive response during the initial two-week application period for her small business tour series, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is extending the application deadline to give more local entrepreneurs the chance to share their stories and promote their work.

“I’m thrilled with the number of applications we received in just two weeks. I thought, why stop now?” Murphy said. “By extending the application period, we’re giving businesses more time to apply while we process the entries my office has received so far.”

Murphy hopes to visit a variety of businesses, including, but not limited to, retail shops, manufacturing businesses and businesses in the service industry – from salons to optometrists.

Business owners can submit their information at www.SenatorLauraMurphy.com/SmallBusinessTours to be considered for a tour. Once an application is received, a member of Murphy’s team will reach out with additional details.

Murphy has extended the original July 30 deadline and is now accepting applications on a rolling basis. The first round of tours will begin in August.

Those with questions can contact Murphy’s office at 847-718-1110 or www.SenatorLauraMurphy.com/contact-us.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
880 Lee St. Suite 100
Des Plaines, IL 60016

 (847) 718-1110