House Bill 1886 will not be going any further than committee.
The bill was pulled by Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) Wednesday afternoon amid an avalanche of opposition to the proposed legislation.
“Evidently (Rita) knew the bill was not supported,” said Brenda Merrell, legislative secretary to Counties and Townships Committee member Rep. Richard Morthland (R-Springfiield). According to legislative staff, Morthland and other members of the committee opposed the bill, including Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville), Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), Rep. Dan Reitz (D-Sparta) and Committee Chair Rep. Patrick J. Verschoore (D-Rock Island).
Attempts to reach Reps. Al Riley (D-Hazel Crest) and Randy Ramey Jr. (R-West Chicago), who also sit on the Counties and Townships committee, were not returned. Several messages left for Rita were not returned.
HB 1886 was scheduled for a reading Thursday in the committee.
The bill, filed Feb. 16 by Rita, calls for “all school districts in this State in existence on June 30, 2012 (other than the Chicago school district) are dissolved, and their school boards are abolished.” The bill was introduced around the time Gov. Pat Quinn’s office suggested that the state could save $100 million by eliminating 500 of the state’s 868 school districts to cut administrative costs.
If the bill would have become a law, all counties in Illinois would be left with either one or two school districts, except for Chicago, which would still remain under Chicago Public Schools. Area parents, school officials and board of education members expressed strong aversion to the possibility.