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


Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford

Filed: 5/14/2021





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 815 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
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



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1    historically underrepresented and underserved groups,
2    including Black, Latinx, and low-income students in
3    particular.
4        (3) This State's approach to funding education has
5    contributed to racial and socioeconomic inequities in
6    access to resources and educational outcomes.
7        (4) Great strides have been made in this State in
8    addressing inequity in funding the kindergarten through
9    grade 12 public school system, including the adoption of
10    an evidence-based funding formula, which has resulted in
11    new funds being targeted to the highest-need districts.
12        (5) Adequate, equitable, and stable investment in
13    higher education is the key to ensuring that every
14    institution of higher education can provide adequate
15    academic, financial, and social-emotional support and
16    services that improve persistence and completion.
17        (6) In this State, higher education appropriations
18    have effectively been cut in half since fiscal year 2002.
19    Institutions of higher education serving higher
20    percentages of Black students are more reliant on State
21    funds and have been disproportionately harmed by this
22    disinvestment in higher education.
23        (7) As a result of historic underfunding and level
24    cuts to institutions of higher education, this State's
25    public universities have needed to increase tuition to
26    make up the funding shortfalls.



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1        (8) Combined with the high cost of college and
2    insufficient State financial aid, racial income and wealth
3    disparities caused by structural racism contribute to the
4    accumulation of student debt and make college enrollment
5    and persistence more challenging for Black and Latinx
6    students.
7        (9) Despite similar numbers of Black high school
8    graduates, about 25,000 fewer Black students enrolled in
9    institutions of higher education in this State in 2018
10    compared to 2008.
11        (10) State appropriations make it possible for
12    colleges to provide essential academic services,
13    social-emotional support and services, and institutional
14    aid to students to improve student persistence and
15    completion.
16        (11) This State must strategically invest in higher
17    education to address wide disparities in degree
18    completion. Public community colleges currently graduate
19    Black and Latinx students at a rate of 14% and 26% within 3
20    years, respectively, compared to 38% of white students. At
21    public universities, Black and Latinx students currently
22    graduate at a rate of 34% and 49%, respectively, compared
23    to 66% of white students, within 6 years.
24        (12) This State has a moral obligation and economic
25    interest in dismantling and reforming structures that
26    create or exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities



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1    in higher education.
2        (13) This State benefits from a public higher
3    education system that receives adequate and stable
4    resources for student success and that strategically uses
5    those resources to maximize the potential of each public
6    institution of higher education and to maximize the
7    benefits to this State, including, but not limited to,
8    improved college access and attainment and higher median
9    wages for all residents, reduced income inequalities,
10    improved economic output and innovation, increased access
11    and engagement in world-class research opportunities, and
12    improved college enrollment, persistence, and completion
13    of underrepresented and historically underserved students,
14    including Black and Latinx students and students from
15    low-income families.
16    Section 10. Commission on Equitable Public University
17Funding; purpose.
18    (a) There is created the Commission on Equitable Public
19University Funding.
20    (b) The purpose of the Commission is to, at a minimum,
21recommend specific data-driven criteria and approaches to the
22General Assembly to adequately, equitably, and stably fund
23public universities in this State and to evaluate the existing
24funding methods used for public universities.



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



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



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



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



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



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



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