Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sunday vetoed three education bills, including one that would have required students to learn about work ethic and another that would have created an “emotional intelligence” task force.
The work ethic bill called for the teaching of such concepts as the importance of trustworthiness, integrity, initiative, respecting authority, arriving on time, and being ready for work and dressing appropriately.
The bill would have required school districts to enact a work ethic curriculum for students beginning in sixth grade.
“While I recognize the value of instilling strong work ethics into our students, I do not believe it is the role of the legislature to dictate to schools how and when this skill should be taught,” Rauner said in a statement. “Schools and teachers deserve the freedom to design their own curriculum, so that it is most impactful to the unique students in their classroom.”
Rauner added: “This legislation would put an undue burden on schools and educators, imposing restrictions without lending support or resources. Impactful classroom instruction and curricula should be developed in partnership with educators, not by legislators in Springfield.”
Rauner also vetoed a bill that would have mandated the creation of the Emotional Intelligence and Social and Emotional Learning Task Force. The nine-member task force would have been charged with developing curriculum and guidelines for elementary and high school students to learn things like how to recognize, direct and positively express emotions. Members of the task force would have been unpaid but eligible for expense reimbursements.
“My administration believes deeply in the importance of supporting both the intellectual and emotional development of Illinois’ children. However, by creating a Task Force without any substantive directives to address this issue, we will only add to government waste without any assurance of healthier outcomes for students,” Rauner said in a statement.
The governor also vetoed a bill that would have required that three of his nine appointees to the Illinois State Board of Education represent the “educator community.”
Rauner pointed out that four board members already have education experience ranging from superintendent to teacher.
“At a time when there is such a wealth of education experience and expertise, there is no need to impose new restrictions on the composition of the State Board of Education,” Rauner said in a statement.
“This legislation would not only erode the Executive Branch’s appointment power, but it would put Illinois at odds with national best practice,” he said.
The three education bills, all sponsored by Democrats, had been sitting on Rauner’s desk since June 21.