DuPage Policy Journal

Jay Kinzler views the Chicago Public Schools’ sexual abuse and assault scandal recently uncovered by a Chicago Tribune special investigation as yet another instance where lawmakers in Springfield mightily contributed to all the mounting dysfunction.

“They are quick to spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money, but never put in reforms,” Kinzler told the DuPage Policy Journal of what he sees as the state’s pattern of bailing out the long-troubled system without adding any accountability or oversight. “Their solution to problems is to just throw other people’s money at it. We need to replace them with new leadership.”

Running against Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park) in the 46th House District, Kinzler hopes to be part of the transition. Things like the CPS’ abuse scandal where numerous students were found to have been sexually preyed upon by school district employees only add to his resolve.

Kinzler said he sees what’s happening at CPS and in Springfield, with the #Metoo scandal that has recently ensnared at least four close associates of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) on allegations of sexual harassment, as being symbolic of leaders’ failure to adequately hold one another accountable.

“My opponent has not called for the resignation of Madigan for his staff’s involvement in this because she gets huge campaign contributions from him,” he said. “She puts money ahead of morality.”

Kinzler said the answer lies in lawmakers coming together to stand for the things their constituents deserve, such as House Bill 5914 recently introduced by Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), requiring the Illinois State Board of Education to “be aware of and monitor, the process of each individual background check” conducted by school districts.

In addition, the bill seeks to amend the Freedom of Information Act to the point of allowing school districts to disclose the disciplinary records of district personnel in connection with sexual abuse, while also making the act of an authority figure engaging in a sexual relationship with a student a criminal act, regardless of age.

“We need to have more transparency and accountability to protect those that can’t protect themselves,” Kinzler added. “That is a leader’s job. The current leadership is not getting the job done and needs to be replaced, and that is what I intend to do.”

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