Lightford120817CHICAGO, IL— Austin community members gathered Wednesday, December 6, 2017, to speak out about Governor Rauner’s proposed rate hike for check-cashing fees at currency exchanges. The town hall meeting was chaired by Illinois Representative La Shawn Ford (8th), who partnered with Woodstock Institute, a leading not-for-profit that tackles financial injustices. The proposed double-digit increase, which was requested by the currency exchange industry who complained of declining profits, would strain traditionally underserved populations such as low-income people and communities of color.

For the Austin community, the rate hike is too much to bear. “We have a lot of challenges on the West Side of Chicago, and the lack of strong traditional financial services leaves some families vulnerable to a high cost to survive,” said Representative Ford, who serves as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. “We need financial services, like the currency exchange, to be safe and affordable, because for many struggling families, it’s their only option.”

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Category: News

Lightford110917Concerns over difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers in Illinois compelled Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) and other members of the Senate Education Committee to hold a hearing to learn about the problem and explore possible solutions.

“Attracting quality educators to our state is vital to our education system and providing our children with the best possible education. We need to offer teachers support for things they were not taught to deal with in school, provide mentoring opportunities, identify districts with higher needs that have a harder time attracting teachers and work to strengthen the high school-to-classroom pipeline,” Lightford said.

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Category: News

Lightford110817SPRINGFIELD- Cursive handwriting will remain a subject in Illinois public schools thanks to the Senate’s action in overriding a veto of a measure that requires public elementary schools to offer at least one unit of instruction in the subject.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led the initiative, noting it promotes the practical and fundamental values cursive writing has in education.

“Cursive writing is a skill children will need throughout their lives,” Lightford said. “You cannot write a check, sign legal documents or even read our Constitution without an understanding of cursive writing.”

Districts would determine by local policy at what grade levels this would be implemented as long as students receive the instruction by grade 5.

Under House Bill 2977, schools will be required to offer cursive writing beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

Category: News

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