Changes in the driver’s seat for student program (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

Recent new rules for driving — from outlawing texting to allowing disabled students to get a license — are leading to some equally major changes in driver’s education programs in Illinois.

And not all of those changes are being welcomed by the schools and their instructors.

No one seems to have a problem with regulations addressing the dangers of texting while driving, nor new technology that allows students with various disabilities to drive.

But there also are new requirements for driver’s ed teachers in public schools. Plus, a new Illinois law that could impact private, or commercial, driving schools went to Gov. Pat Quinn at the end of June. (See accompanying story.)

Added to that are severe financial strains in Illinois, all making some school districts rethink how they’ve offered the program.

“I think just the unfunded mandates and the schools being in a numbers crunch — that’s a big change for everybody,” said Jeff Bral, divisional head of driver’s education, physical education and health — as well as athletics director — at Bartlett High School.

For the rest of the story, read Changes in the driver’s seat for student program (Sun-Times Media).

For the accompanying story about changes that could impact commercial driving schools, read Commercial schools favor putting the brakes on pending bill (Sun-Times Media).

Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media.

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