SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A bill introduced by state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, that would create an advisory council to review educational strategies for disadvantaged students passed out of committee Thursday and now moves to the House floor for consideration.
“Our education system is failing to give at-risk children the opportunity they need to receive a quality education and set them up for a strong career,” Wallace said. “This advisory council will look at ways we can improve the outlook for students in Rockford and around our state.”
House Bill 6136 would create an “Advisory Council on At-Risk Students” within the Illinois State Board of Education. Made up of members who have experience with at-risk students and are involved in education, the council would be a diverse collection of teachers, advocates, legislators and parents. Tasked with reviewing performance of underprivileged students, the council would annually submit a report at the end of the year to the General Assembly, the governor and the State Superintendent of Education outlining problems that face at-risk students, as well as policy solutions that could improve results. At-risk students would include those who are served by the Department of Human Services and who participate in Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Foster children would also be considered as at-risk.
“If we want Illinois to grow economically and have a well-educated workforce, we must make sure that every student has the ability to reach their full potential,” Wallace said. “Improving the path to success for at-risk students will help make that goal a reality.”