Loughran Cappel lauds ‘historic’ education reform legislation

Bills aim to increase diversity among teachers, expand graduation requirements

State Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel lauded the passing of a “historic” education reform legislation during the lame duck session of the General Assembly in Springfield.

In a news release, Loughran Cappel, D-Shorewood, called the legislation a “win” for students and teachers.

The bills included a number of measures aimed at improving conditions for students of color and low-income families at all grade levels.

“As a mother and former teacher and school board member, I’m proud one of the first votes I cast was to improve our school system for all children,” Loughran Cappel said in the release. “Ensuring every child has the tools they need to success in their education is one of my top priorities.”

Among the measures was one aimed at expanding high school graduation requirements to include two years of laboratory science and foreign language. Another aims to improve curriculums teaching about people of color and civil rights, according to the release.

The legislation also addresses teacher training by expanding access to Minority Teachers of Illinois scholarships to enhance diversity.

“When students learn from teachers who’ve had similar life experiences, it helps them feel like they belong and understand how many doors are open to them after high school,” Loughran Cappel said in the release.

She said she also voted for a bill which restores collective bargaining rights regarding class and staff size, the length of school days and more for teachers in Chicago.

The bills await Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.