Lightford032019SPRINGFIELD – Children could soon be required to start school at age 5 under a proposal spearheaded by Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

Senate Bill 2075 lowers the compulsory school age from 6 to 5, and was approved by the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

“It is vital for students to be in the classroom, especially at an early age,” Lightford said. “This measure allows us to make a strong impact in the lives of our children and increases opportunities for those who come from underprivileged communities.”

The measure seeks to help address chronic absenteeism across the state by establishing a habit of attendance in kindergarten and first grade. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, at least one in five Chicago Public School students missed at least 17 days of school during the 2017-18 school year. The state’s average is about one in six children.

Chronic absenteeism has a wide range of negative effects for the absent students and for their classmates, as instructors often need to go over materials again, Lightford said.

The legislation now heads to the full Senate for approval.

Category: News

Lightford031919SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s bid to resentence former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald. Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Kimberly A. Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, released the following statement on the decision:

“We are disappointed by the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision. The sentencing Van Dyke received earlier this year contradicts state law and the high court’s precedent.

“It is frustrating that the Supreme Court rejected this motion without explanation and saddening to know that law enforcement officers are not being held accountable for their actions.

“The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus respects the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision, but will continue to fight to fix our broken justice system.”

Category: News

0219 ILSFA grassroots education flyer v4 1

Category: News

Lightford031319 2SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is drawing attention to the need for designating funding for early childhood building and renovation projects in the state’s next construction program.

“Our previous construction plan missed the mark on supporting early childhood programming,” Lightford said. “We need to ensure that we dedicate the funding to make sure our families have access to these critical services.”

The state’s last construction plan was implemented in 2009, and included a $45 million appropriation from the Build Illinois Bond Fund for the state's first Early Childhood Construction Grant program. However, the Capital Development Board received 227 applications totaling more than $539 million in requests for these construction and renovation resources, illustrating the unmet needs of early childhood facilities.

Senate Resolution 85 urges the next state construction program to dedicate a minimum of $250 million from state bond sources for the purpose of supporting critical early childhood projects.

“While this is only half of what was needed ten years ago, this is an important first step that puts the need for these projects on the forefront,” Lightford said.

The measure was approved in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday and is scheduled to move to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

Contact Us

District office:
10330 West Roosevelt Rd.
Suite 308
Westchester, IL 60154
(708) 343-7444 PHONE
(708) 343-7400 FAX

Springfield office:
329A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8505 PHONE
(217) 558-2068 FAX

eNewsletter

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.