New law aims to rid Illinois’ education system of systemic racism

Lightford Education SigningMAYWOOD – As part of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ plan to rid Illinois of systemic racism, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined Governor J.B Pritzker as he signed House Bill 2170, the Education and Workforce Development Pillar she sponsored, on Monday.

"House Bill 2170 is a step toward ridding Illinois of the damaging policies and procedures built into our state's systems of law and government that have created deep inequities and opportunity gaps in education for Black students," Lightford said. "It's time for our children to accelerate their education throughout the duration of their careers, from early learning to prestigious universities, followed by successful careers. I’m humbled to have led this effort and look forward to continuing to fight to ensure fairness and equality in Illinois for all our state’s residents."

House Bill 2170 addresses education and workforce development from early childhood to adulthood. To help ensure school readiness, it strengthens early intervention services and sets a kindergarten readiness assessment in statute. For students who may suffer from trauma, the legislation creates the Whole Child Task Force. This Whole Child Task for will help create a more equitable, safe, inclusive, and supportive environments for all children – but especially survivors of trauma. The legislation also creates a commission charged with reforming the Black history curriculum and how schools teach about other marginalized groups.

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BudgetQuote Lightford2021 1SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) believes the governor’s proposed budget is a good starting point, but she wants to see a greater focus on education as negotiations move forward. In response to the governor’s proposal, she issued the following statement:

“Overall, the governor’s proposal is a good starting point. It funds preschool. It funds the criminal justice reform law we just passed. It provides additional funding for programs to keep older adults and people with disabilities in their homes.

“However, I think we need to have a bigger conversation about K-12 education funding. If we follow this plan, it will be the second year in a row that we don’t fulfill our commitment to increase funding to Illinois public schools. I understand this is a difficult budget year because of the pandemic, but our kids and teachers in low-income communities cannot and should not have to wait forever to see the funding increases they were promised.”

Category: News

Join us on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. for a virtual town hall to discuss the Illinois Black Caucus' Criminal Justice bill. This an excellent opportunity to learn about the real facts of this legislation. To register and submit questions, click here: https://bit.ly/3jtO3Rs.

The town hall will be broadcast on Facebook Live. To attend, click here: https://bit.ly/3cUpFak

Town Hall 1

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