Lightford wants to provide an equitable education for all students

051820210281SPRINGFIELD - Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford’s (D-Maywood) effort to create a commission to evaluate whether public universities and community colleges receive fair funding to serve members of disadvantaged communities was signed by the governor on Monday.  

“Universities and colleges that serve members of disadvantaged communities need fair funding in order to serve their students and reverse the damage caused by historic and systemic racism,” Lightford said.

The new law follows up on the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Education and Workforce Development Pillar law that passed earlier thiyear

It creates the Commission on Equitable Public University Funding, which is charged with determining if public institutions of higher education are in need of a new funding model or fairly funded when serving underrepresented and historically underserved student groups, including Black and Brown students, as well as students from low-income families. 

The commission will consist of representatives of advocacy groups, the state’s public universities, and state agencies focused on higher education. 

“I think the answer to the commission’s first question is clear – we need a fairer funding model,” Lightford said. “I look forward to seeing its recommendations on how we can do better.”

Senate Bill 815 will become effective immediately, and the commission’s report is due July 1, 2023