Don’t Outsource Drivers Ed

In August 2017, Gov. Rauner signed legislation that will severely impact public school driver education programs throughout Illinois.

The legislation eliminates the district waiver process for driver education. This means that school districts can outsource driver education programs to for-profit companies.

The new law also eliminates a requirement that privately-owned companies contracting with a district pay benefits to their employees that are similar to those received by certified driver education instructors in the district, further incentivizing third-party outsourcing.  This encourages school districts to give up control of important services that our students and their families are counting on.

The obvious way for a private company to maximize its profits is by cutting workers’ pay and benefits. Removing this worker protection language will make it even more difficult to attract and maintain quality employees, and lead to a lower quality of services.

Key points

Driver education provided by the school district is safe, consistent and reliable instruction by licensed educators.

Eliminating the driver education mandate will create an access issue downstate where often the only place to get certified driving instruction is from the school district.

Outsourcing means taking control away from local school boards and giving control to private companies that put profit first.

Be an advocate

Contact your superintendent
Tell the superintendent that safe, affordable, high-quality driver education is important for students and families.

Attend a school board meeting
Use the “public comments” period to tell the board and the public that safe, affordable, high-quality driver education is important for students and families.

Write a letter to the editor
Find your newspaper and click A to find out how to submit your letter to the editor (example below.)

To the editor:

It is crucial the _______ school board protect the access of families in our area to high quality, affordable driver education for our students. 

Under a law signed by Gov. Rauner last year, the district would be permitted to outsource responsibility for driver education to for-profit companies. 

Until now, the law has stated that in-school driver education must be available and taught by a certified teacher. Outsourcing driver education means the instructor would not be a district employee, creating a loss of local control over who gets in the car with the students.

The best, safest, most affordable option for our students and their families is for driver education to continue to be offered by the district and taught by a certified member of the faculty.