Rep. Severin to Lead House Republican Reading Literacy Working Group

SPRINGFIELD — House Republican Leader Tony McCombie (Savanna) was joined by several members of the House Republican caucus today in Springfield to unveil legislative priorities for the 103rd General Assembly. Leader McCombie announced the creation of five working groups to produce actionable solutions to some of Illinois’ most pressing issues. The five Republican working groups include the following:

  • Sustaining & Protecting At-Risk Kids: to protect children in the state’s care from abuse and neglect
  • Supporting Women and Families: to make Illinois a place where families can move and grow for generations
  • Reigniting Illinois’ Strong Economy: to improve Illinois’ business climate, while still protecting workers and using our strengths – geography, workforce, and resources – to bring job creators and opportunity home
  • Literacy Improves Future Endeavors: to address learning loss, improve reading literacy, and restore Illinois students to a place where they are competitive in today’s world
  • Improving Public Safety:  to make our neighborhoods safe again, protect law-abiding citizens, and respect law enforcement

The working groups are each chaired by House Republican members, which include State Representatives Tom Weber (Fox Lake), Jackie Haas (Kankakee), Dan Ugaste (Geneva), Dave Severin (Benton) and Patrick Windhorst (Metropolis). The working group chairs will spearhead the progress of these top issue areas with input from policy experts and residents across the state.

“Republicans are here to work and these groups reflect not only that commitment but also our governing priorities,” said Leader McCombie. “We are ready to be part of the solution on some of our state’s biggest challenges. These working groups represent a beginning step toward solving the problems impacting residents throughout Illinois.”

Rep. Severin will lead the House GOP efforts on restoring reading literacy after pandemic related shut downs caused devastating learning loss for students across Illinois.

“I love kids. I love our schools. I love our teachers and school administrators. Our schools stand out as pillars in our communities, especially in the area I represent. They are places where we teach, we learn, we gather, we participate in music, sports, and art,” Severin said. “I’m saddened that we are falling behind other states. Our kids deserve better. Our children are the future.”

Severin cited alarming statistics he says need addressed immediately.

  • A 2022 Report from the Illinois State Board of Education revealed less than 30% of 8th graders in Illinois are passing Algebra 1
  • The same report showed Illinois students meeting English and language arts performance level at just 26% with 74% of students not meeting, partially meeting, or just approaching grade level on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness test.
  • In that same data set, only 21.6% of Illinois students met performance level in math. That means 78.4% – MORE THAN ¾ of students are NOT meeting grade level expectations in mathematics on the state’s readiness assessment test.

“In my role as the head of this working group, I am committed to bringing together legislators with our state’s highest ranking education officials and advocates dedicated to improving public schools and curriculum so we can understand where we are and where we need to go to put our students back on the right track,” Severin said.