Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0815
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Full Text of SB0815  102nd General Assembly



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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Commission on Equitable Public University Funding Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds all of the
8        (1) Historical and continued systemic racism has
9    created significant disparities in college access,
10    affordability, and completion for Black, Latinx, and other
11    underrepresented and historically underserved students in
12    this State.
13        (2) Improvements in postsecondary access, completion,
14    and success rates are required in order to meet State
15    goals for equity in attainment and will require further
16    investments in the higher education system to support
17    historically underrepresented and underserved groups,
18    including Black, Latinx, and low-income students in
19    particular.
20        (3) This State's approach to funding education has
21    contributed to racial and socioeconomic inequities in
22    access to resources and educational outcomes.
23        (4) Great strides have been made in this State in



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1    addressing inequity in funding the kindergarten through
2    grade 12 public school system, including the adoption of
3    an evidence-based funding formula, which has resulted in
4    new funds being targeted to the highest-need districts.
5        (5) Adequate, equitable, and stable investment in
6    higher education is the key to ensuring that every
7    institution of higher education can provide adequate
8    academic, financial, and social-emotional support and
9    services that improve persistence and completion.
10        (6) In this State, higher education appropriations
11    have effectively been cut in half since fiscal year 2002.
12    Institutions of higher education serving higher
13    percentages of Black students are more reliant on State
14    funds and have been disproportionately harmed by this
15    disinvestment in higher education.
16        (7) As a result of historic underfunding and level
17    cuts to institutions of higher education, this State's
18    public universities have needed to increase tuition to
19    make up the funding shortfalls.
20        (8) Combined with the high cost of college and
21    insufficient State financial aid, racial income and wealth
22    disparities caused by structural racism contribute to the
23    accumulation of student debt and make college enrollment
24    and persistence more challenging for Black and Latinx
25    students.
26        (9) Despite similar numbers of Black high school



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1    graduates, about 25,000 fewer Black students enrolled in
2    institutions of higher education in this State in 2018
3    compared to 2008.
4        (10) State appropriations make it possible for
5    colleges to provide essential academic services,
6    social-emotional support and services, and institutional
7    aid to students to improve student persistence and
8    completion.
9        (11) This State must strategically invest in higher
10    education to address wide disparities in degree
11    completion. Public community colleges currently graduate
12    Black and Latinx students at a rate of 14% and 26% within 3
13    years, respectively, compared to 38% of white students. At
14    public universities, Black and Latinx students currently
15    graduate at a rate of 34% and 49%, respectively, compared
16    to 66% of white students, within 6 years.
17        (12) This State has a moral obligation and economic
18    interest in dismantling and reforming structures that
19    create or exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities
20    in higher education.
21        (13) This State benefits from a public higher
22    education system that receives adequate and stable
23    resources for student success and that strategically uses
24    those resources to maximize the potential of each public
25    institution of higher education and to maximize the
26    benefits to this State, including, but not limited to,



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1    improved college access and attainment and higher median
2    wages for all residents, reduced income inequalities,
3    improved economic output and innovation, increased access
4    and engagement in world-class research opportunities, and
5    improved college enrollment, persistence, and completion
6    of underrepresented and historically underserved students,
7    including Black and Latinx students and students from
8    low-income families.
9    Section 10. Commission on Equitable Public University
10Funding; purpose.
11    (a) There is created the Commission on Equitable Public
12University Funding.
13    (b) The purpose of the Commission is to, at a minimum,
14recommend specific data-driven criteria and approaches to the
15General Assembly to adequately, equitably, and stably fund
16public universities in this State and to evaluate the existing
17funding methods used for public universities.
18    Section 15. Membership; administrative support;
20    (a) The membership of the Commission shall include, at a
22        (1) One member of the Senate appointed by the
23    President of the Senate, who shall serve as
24    co-chairperson.



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1        (2) One member of the House of Representatives
2    appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
3    who shall serve as co-chairperson.
4        (3) The chairperson of the Board of Higher Education
5    or a designee, who shall serve as co-chairperson.
6        (4) One member appointed by the Governor, who shall
7    serve as co-chairperson.
8        (5) One member of the Senate appointed by the Minority
9    Leader of the Senate.
10        (6) One member of the House of Representatives
11    appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of
12    Representatives.
13        (7) The chairperson of the Illinois Student Assistance
14    Commission or a designee.
15        (8) The chairperson of the Higher Education Committee
16    of the House of Representatives or a designee.
17        (9) The Minority Spokesperson of the Higher Education
18    Committee of the House of Representatives or a designee.
19        (10) The chairperson of the Higher Education Committee
20    of the Senate or a designee.
21        (11) The Minority Spokesperson of the Higher Education
22    Committee of the Senate or a designee.
23        (12) Twelve members representing the public
24    universities in this State each appointed by the President
25    of each public university.
26        (13) One member representing a higher education



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1    advocacy organization focused on eliminating disparities
2    in college completion in this State for low-income and
3    first-generation college students and students of color
4    appointed by the Board of Higher Education.
5        (14) One member representing a statewide advocacy
6    organization focused on improving educational and
7    employment opportunities for women and adults appointed by
8    the Board of Higher Education.
9        (15) One member representing a statewide advocacy
10    organization focused on developing an equitable
11    birth-to-career educational system appointed by the Board
12    of Higher Education.
13        (16) One member representing a statewide organization
14    that advocates for alternative education and bridge
15    programs and the re-enrollment of students in this State
16    appointed by the Board of Higher Education.
17        (17) One member representing a fiscal policy research
18    organization focused on the impact that State-level budget
19    and tax policies have on equitable education funding
20    solutions appointed by the Board of Higher Education.
21        (18) Two members representing an organization that
22    advocates on behalf of public university faculty members
23    who are each employed by a different university appointed
24    by the Board of Higher Education.
25        (19) One health care expert from the public higher
26    education arena appointed by the Board of Higher



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1    Education, in consultation with the presidents and
2    chancellors of the public universities.
3        (20) One member who has legal expertise in higher
4    education funding and finance appointed by the Board of
5    Higher Education.
6        (21) One postsecondary student enrolled at a public
7    university in this State appointed by the Board of Higher
8    Education.
9    (b) The Board of Higher Education shall recognize and
10consider the representation of underrepresented and
11historically underserved groups, including those who are
12Black, Latinx, or from low-income families, and the racial and
13geographical diversity of this State when making appointments
14to the Commission.
15    (c) The co-chairpersons may identify and invite experts to
16speak to the Commission on issues, including, but not limited
17to, higher education funding, finance, health care, and
18research and development.
19    (d) The Board of Higher Education shall provide
20administrative support to the Commission, including any
21related workgroups, and shall be responsible for administering
22the Commission's operations and ensuring that the requirements
23of this Act are met.
24    (e) The members of the Commission shall serve without
25compensation for their services as members of the Commission.



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1    Section 20. Meetings; reports.
2    (a) The Commission shall meet at least once per quarter
3beginning no later than October 15, 2021.
4    (b) On or before July 1, 2023, the Commission shall
5deliver to the General Assembly and publish on the Board of
6Higher Education's Internet website or otherwise make publicly
7available a report on the Commission's recommendations,
8including specific criteria and funding approaches in
9accordance with all applicable laws, to establish an
10equity-based funding model for the allocation of State funds
11to public universities. The recommendations included in the
12report must be equity-centered and consider all of the
13following areas:
14        (1) Remediating inequities in funding that have led to
15    disparities in access, affordability, and completion for
16    underrepresented and historically underserved student
17    groups, including students who are Black, Latinx, or from
18    low-income families.
19        (2) Ensuring that this State adequately, equitably,
20    and stably funds public institutions of higher education
21    in a manner that recognizes historical and current
22    inequities impacting underrepresented minorities' higher
23    education access and completion.
24        (3) Providing incentives to all 4-year institutions of
25    higher education in this State to enroll underrepresented
26    and historically underserved student groups, including



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1    students who are Black, Latinx, or from low-income
2    families, in proportion to the diversity of this State's
3    population.
4        (4) Allowing ongoing monitoring and continuous
5    improvement of the public university funding models by
6    requiring transparency and accountability in how State
7    appropriations are expended and identifying a mechanism to
8    study and review the implementation of any funding model
9    developed and the long-term implications of this Act.
10        (5) Creating guidelines for how funding is distributed
11    during times of significant economic hardship, as defined
12    by the Commission, so that public institutions of higher
13    education are able to adequately, equitably, and stably
14    serve students.
15        (6) Ensuring that this State adequately and stably
16    funds public institutions of higher education that serve
17    underrepresented and historically underserved student
18    groups, including students who are Black, Latinx, or from
19    low-income families, and graduate and professional
20    students, including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and
21    veterinarians.
22        (7) Supporting the diverse individual mission of each
23    public university, including its commitment to research
24    and health care enterprises that serve and enhance the
25    well-being of the residents of this State.
26        (8) Fostering the economic activity and innovation



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1    generated by a university's activities, while recognizing
2    the impact historic funding inequities may have had on the
3    university's activities.
4        (9) Taking into consideration the percentage of
5    institutional aid provided from an institution's annual
6    budget.
7        (10) Taking into consideration the number of
8    undergraduate students engaged in research at each
9    university.
10        (11) Supporting institutional efforts to recruit and
11    retain world-class faculty and university leaders.
12        (12) Ensuring stable and adequate funding for all
13    institutions and that all universities are held harmless
14    to their current funding level. The Commission may
15    consider and report approaches to and the impact of a hold
16    harmless funding provision for institutions of higher
17    education as part of its final recommendations.
18        (13) Taking into consideration the long-term
19    implications and outcomes of the funding systems.
20    The recommendations must fulfill the principles
21established by the Board of Higher Education's Strategic Plan.
22The recommendations may also be informed by the data-driven
23findings and recommendations established by the Chicago State
24University Equity Working Group and other groups researching
25equity in higher education and higher education funding and be
26aligned to this State's postsecondary attainment goal and



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1related equity targets.
2    Section 25. Compliance. Notwithstanding any other law or
3provision to the contrary, all public institutions of higher
4education and State agencies regulating public institutions of
5higher education shall furnish such data and information to
6the Commission as the Commission deems necessary to fulfill
7the requirements of this Act.
8    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
9becoming law.