Advance Illinois Applauds Passage of HB2170, Education Omnibus Bill

Posted on January 12, 2021

Contact:
Advance Illinois Communications
communications@advanceillinois.org

CHICAGO, IL – Advance Illinois applauds the leadership of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in passing HB2170. HB2170, also known as the Education Omnibus Bill, represents an important step in advancing racial equity in Illinois’ education system. As a whole, the bill is designed to increase educational access and opportunities for Black students, other students of color and students from low-income households throughout the state. 

As part of the Black Caucus’ ambitious agenda, which also tackles criminal justice reform, health care and human services reform and expansion of economic opportunity in Illinois, HB2170 focuses on policies that address the longstanding racial injustices in our birth to career education system. Under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford and Representative Carol Ammons, members of the Black Caucus, along with education and racial justice advocates, worked together to develop a comprehensive legislative package to advance racial equity in Illinois’ early childhood programs, schools and higher education institutions. From supporting the goals of the Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding to automatic enrollment for qualified students in advanced courses to amending the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) scholarship program to prioritize Black male candidates and diversify the teacher pipeline, this legislation seeks to ensure that high-quality education is the norm and not the exception for all students, especially Black students. 

“The passage of HB2170 serves as an important step toward educational equity for Black students in Illinois,” says Robin Steans, President of Advance Illinois. “I am heartened the Illinois Senate and House passed this legislation, taking action on issues that will foster significant change and advancement for our students.”   

Steans continues, “We congratulate Sen. Lightford, Rep. Ammons and the ILBC for their leadership. Their tireless work was key in galvanizing support and input from advocates and experts and carrying the bill over the finish line. While there is still work to be done, the measures it contains are a critical step to ensuring students of color and students from low-income households will have access to the high-quality education they deserve.”

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About Advance Illinois
Advance Illinois is an independent policy and advocacy organization working toward a healthy public education system that enables all students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. Since its founding in 2008, Advance Illinois has become a nationally recognized thought leader in education policy advocacy. To learn more, visit advanceillinois.org.