Your NPR news source

Lawmakers Noncommittal to Meeks' Proposal

SHARE Lawmakers Noncommittal to Meeks' Proposal

Reverend James Meeks is offering to cancel his planned school boycott in Chicago. That’s if Illinois’ Democratic leaders agree to fund a $120-million pilot program for low-performing schools. Former chairman of the state’s board of education Ron Gidwitz helped develop the plan.

GIDWITZ: The hope here is, and the intention here is, that with this program we will see significant improvement in performance, and give comfort to those people who are looking for reassurance or assurances that the money will be well spent.

But the proposal is getting tepid response from lawmakers. Steve Brown is a spokesperson for House Speaker Michael Madigan. Brown says Madigan has agreed to meet with Meeks but can’t commit to funding the plan. A spokesperson from Governor Rod Blagojevich’s office says the governor wants to work with Meeks to get the program off the ground. Senate President Emil Jones’s office did not return a call for comment.

The Latest