Pritzker signs higher education bills

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed legislation designed to increase access to Illinois’ higher education system, close equity gaps, and improve student protections and operational effectiveness.

The bills expand resources available to students and build on the administration’s efforts to expand equitable access to public universities and community colleges.  

House Bill 5464 requires state public universities and community colleges to develop and implement equity plans and practices to increase the access, retention, completion and student loan repayment rates for minority students, rural students, adult students, women and people with disabilities who are traditionally underrepresented in education programs and activities.

“Education is arguably the single most important factor in promoting social mobility and a thriving economy,” said state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, and lead House sponsor of HB 5464. “Enhancing and refining the ability of the Illinois Board of Higher Education to ensure accountability and integrity at colleges and universities will help protect access to high quality education for all Illinoisans.”

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), in collaboration with the Illinois Community College Board, will guide implementation of the new equity plans. The bill also allows IBHE to request financial reports from private universities, private business, and vocational schools, if needed, to help institutions stay on solid financial footing.

Effective immediately, HB 5464 also requires all public and private postsecondary institutions to report student data to ensure IBHE has a complete picture of the state’s college students and ensure progress is made toward achieving educational equity. 

House Bill 4201 helps students at…

Region: Metro East,City: Alton,News

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June 7, 2022 at 04:47PM

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