Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford

Filed: 4/16/2021





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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 Higher Education 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) This State's approach to funding education has
14    contributed to racial and socioeconomic inequities in
15    access to resources and educational outcomes.
16        (3) 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        (4) Adequate and equitable investment in higher
6    education is the key to ensuring that every institution of
7    higher education can provide adequate academic, financial,
8    and social-emotional support and services that improve
9    persistence and completion.
10        (5) 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        (6) The most selective institutions of higher
17    education in this State have received a greater share of
18    State appropriations even as their tuition revenue has
19    grown, while less-selective institutions who serve greater
20    percentages of Black students have had less access to both
21    tuition and State revenue.
22        (7) As a result of historic underfunding and level
23    cuts to institutions of higher education, this State's
24    public universities have had to increase tuition,
25    effectively pricing out students from low-income families.
26    Less selective universities in this State now have the



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1    second highest average net cost in the country for
2    students from the lowest-income households.
3        (8) Wealth and income gaps caused by structural racism
4    have resulted in college tuition rates posing a larger
5    burden to Black and Latinx families. Black and Latinx
6    families in this State pay 44% and 39% of their income,
7    respectively, to attend public universities compared to
8    31% for white students. Black and Latinx students in this
9    State pay 36% and 24% of their income, respectively, to
10    attend public community colleges, compared to 18% for
11    white students.
12        (9) Combined with the high cost of college and
13    insufficient State financial aid, racial income and wealth
14    disparities contribute to the accumulation of student debt
15    and make college enrollment and persistence more
16    challenging for Black and Latinx students.
17        (10) Despite similar numbers of Black high school
18    graduates, about 25,000 fewer Black students enrolled in
19    institutions of higher education in this State in 2018
20    compared to 2008.
21        (11) Only 2 of the 12 public universities are
22    representative of the Latinx population in this State, and
23    only 4 public universities are representative of the Black
24    population in this State.
25        (12) Seventeen percent of individuals who are 18 to 24
26    years old in this State identify as Black, yet Black



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1    students represent less than 7% of the student body at
2    selective universities in this State.
3        (13) State appropriations make it possible for
4    colleges to provide essential academic services,
5    social-emotional support and services, and institutional
6    aid to students to improve student persistence and
7    completion.
8        (14) This State must strategically invest in higher
9    education to address wide disparities in degree
10    completion. Public community colleges currently graduate
11    Black and Latinx students at a rate of 14% and 26% within 3
12    years, respectively, compared to 38% of white students. At
13    public universities, Black and Latinx students currently
14    graduate at a rate of 34% and 49%, respectively, compared
15    to 66% of white students, within 6 years.
16        (15) This State has a moral obligation and economic
17    interest in dismantling and reforming structures that
18    create or exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities
19    in higher education.
20        (16) This State benefits from a public higher
21    education system that receives adequate and stable
22    resources for student success and that strategically uses
23    those resources to maximize college enrollment,
24    persistence, and completion of underrepresented and
25    historically underserved students, including Black and
26    Latinx students and students from low-income families.



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1    Section 10. Commission on Equitable Higher Education
2Funding; purpose.
3    (a) There is created the Commission on Equitable Higher
4Education Funding.
5    (b) The purpose of the Commission is to, at a minimum,
6recommend specific criteria and approaches to the General
7Assembly to equitably fund public universities in this State
8and to evaluate the existing formula used for public community
9colleges using similar criteria and approaches.
10    Section 15. Membership; administrative support;
12    (a) The membership of the Commission shall include, at a
14        (1) One member of the Senate appointed by the
15    President of the Senate, who shall serve as
16    co-chairperson.
17        (2) One member of the House of Representatives
18    appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
19    who shall serve as co-chairperson.
20        (3) The chairperson of the Board of Higher Education
21    or a designee, who shall serve as co-chairperson.
22        (4) The chairperson of the Illinois Community College
23    Board or a designee, who shall serve as co-chairperson.
24        (5) One member appointed by the Governor, who shall



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1    serve as co-chairperson.
2        (6) One senator appointed by the Minority Leader of
3    the Senate.
4        (7) One representative appointed by the Minority
5    Leader of the House of Representatives.
6        (8) The Chairperson of the Illinois Student Assistance
7    Commission or a designee.
8        (9) The Chairperson of the State Board of Education or
9    a designee.
10        (10) Twelve representatives of the public universities
11    in this State appointed by the chairperson of the Board of
12    Higher Education.
13        (11) Four representatives of the public community
14    colleges in this State appointed by the chairperson of the
15    Illinois Community College Board.
16        (12) One member representing a higher education
17    advocacy organization focused on eliminating disparities
18    in college completion in this State for low-income and
19    first-generation college students and students of color
20    appointed by the Board of Higher Education.
21        (13) One member representing a statewide advocacy
22    organization focused on improving educational and
23    employment opportunities for women and adults appointed by
24    the Board of Higher Education.
25        (14) One member representing a statewide advocacy
26    organization focused on developing an equitable



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1    birth-to-career educational system appointed by the Board
2    of Higher Education.
3        (15) One member representing a fiscal policy research
4    organization focused on the impact that State-level budget
5    and tax policies have on equitable education funding
6    solutions appointed by the Board of Higher Education.
7        (16) One member representing a business organization
8    or business trade association appointed by the Board of
9    Higher Education.
10        (17) One research expert in higher education finance
11    and funding formulas appointed by the Board of Higher
12    Education.
13        (18) One member representing an organization that
14    advocates on behalf of public university faculty members
15    appointed by the Board of Higher Education.
16        (19) One member representing an organization that
17    advocates on behalf of public community college faculty
18    members appointed by the Illinois Community College Board.
19        (20) One postsecondary student enrolled at a public
20    university in this State appointed by the Board of Higher
21    Education.
22        (21) One postsecondary student enrolled at a public
23    community college in this State appointed by the Illinois
24    Community College Board.
25    (b) The Board of Higher Education and Illinois Community
26College Board shall provide administrative support to the



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1Commission, including any related workgroups, and shall be
2responsible for administering the Commission's operations and
3ensuring that the requirements of this Act are met.
4    (c) The members of the Commission shall serve without
5compensation for their services as members of the Commission.
6    Section 20. Meetings; reports.
7    (a) The Commission shall meet at least once per quarter
8beginning no later than October 15, 2021.
9    (b) On or before February 1, 2023, the Commission shall
10deliver to the General Assembly a report on the Commission's
11recommendations, including specific criteria and funding
12approaches, to establish an equity-based higher education
13funding system for, at a minimum, the allocation of State
14funds to public universities. The recommendations included in
15the report must focus on all of the following areas:
16        (1) Remediating inequities in funding that have led to
17    disparities in access, affordability, and completion for
18    Black, Latinx, and other underrepresented and historically
19    underserved students.
20        (2) Ensuring that this State adequately funds public
21    institutions of higher education that serve Black and
22    Latinx students that proportionally reflects, at a
23    minimum, the diversity of this State's population.
24        (3) Providing incentives to all 4-year institutions of
25    higher education in this State to enroll underrepresented



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1    and historically underserved student groups, including
2    students who are Black, Latinx, or from low-income
3    families, in proportion to the diversity of this State's
4    population.
5        (4) Allowing ongoing monitoring and continuous
6    improvement of funding formulas by requiring transparency
7    in how State appropriations are expended and identifying a
8    mechanism to study and review the implementation of any
9    funding model developed as a result of this Act.
10        (5) Creating guidelines for how funding is distributed
11    during times of economic hardship so that public
12    institutions of higher education are able to adequately
13    and equitably serve students.
14    The recommendations must fulfill the principles
15established by the Board of Higher Education's Strategic Plan.
16The recommendations must also be informed by the findings and
17recommendations established by the Chicago State University
18Equity Working Group.
19    The Commission shall also report to the General Assembly
20the extent to which the current approach to funding fulfills
21the principles established by the Board of Higher Education's
22Strategic Plan.
23    (c) On or before May 1, 2024 and each year thereafter, the
24Board of Higher Education shall file a report with the General
25Assembly that includes, at a minimum, all of the following:
26        (1) The State funding allocations and total revenue of



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1    each public institution of higher education for each of
2    the prior 5 academic years.
3        (2) The average institutional funding allocation per
4    student for each of the prior 5 academic years,
5    disaggregated by variables, including, but not limited to,
6    racial group, income status, dependency, and in-state
7    residency status.
8        (3) The average expenditures per student for each of
9    the prior 5 academic years, defined as the sum of academic
10    and student support expenditures, disaggregated by
11    variables, including, but not limited to, racial group,
12    income status, dependency, and in-state residency status.
13    Section 25. Compliance. Notwithstanding any other law or
14provision to the contrary, all public institutions of higher
15education and State agencies regulating public institutions of
16higher education shall furnish such data and information to
17the Commission as the Commission deems necessary to fulfill
18the requirements of this Act.
19    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
20becoming law.".