SPRINGFIELD -- A sprawling education-reform package that could lengthen the school year in Chicago, give school districts new powers to oust poorly performing teachers and impose new obstacles on teachers strikes passed the Senate Thursday without dissent.
The Senate's 59-0 vote on a plan that united teachers unions, reform groups and school boards capped a busy legislative day in which lawmakers rejected a business-backed workers compensation reform package and launched a new crackdown on the state's cash-strapped prepaid college tuition program.
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