SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) moved a proposal expanding eligibility for the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship program out of committee yesterday.
Senate Bill 1739 allows licensed teachers pursuing additional teaching endorsements or a master’s degree in an academic field related to the subject they currently teach or plan to teach to apply for the MTI scholarship.
“Minority students have better academic outcomes when taught by someone who also belongs to a racial or ethnic minority. Furthermore, increasing the number of teachers who can offer courses that award college credit creates a path for students from high school to college to career,” Lightford said.
Recipients can get up to $5,000 a year toward their college tuition. Those who receive the grant are required to make a commitment to teach for a minimum of five years in an Illinois school where at least 30 percent of students are identified as minority students.
The legislation will now head to the full Senate for consideration.
SPRINGFIELD — Children suffering from mental health issues will be diagnosed sooner under a measure signed into law today. Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led efforts for the new law requiring social and emotional screenings for children as a part of their school entry examinations.
The proposal calls for the Department of Public Health to develop rules and an appropriate revision to the child health examination form.
“It is important that our children understand that many people deal with mental health issues, that mental illness does not define someone and that they do not have to suffer alone,” Lightford said.
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