SPRINGFIELD – This week’s lame duck session was a win for students and teachers with the passing of the Black Caucus’s education pillar and legislation restoring collective bargaining rights to Chicago teachers. With her background in education, State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D- Shorewood) is especially proud to have been a part of such monumental votes.

“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. “Ensuring every child has the tools they need to success in their education is one of my top priorities.”

The education reform measure, part of the Black Caucus’s plan to improve conditions for minorities and low-income families touches on early childhood, K-12 and higher education. It includes measures to expand high school graduation requirements to include two years of laboratory science and foreign language and to improve curriculums teaching about minority groups and civil rights.

Additionally, the legislation addresses teacher training by expanding access to Minority Teachers of Illinois scholarships and places emphasis on diversity in teacher hiring so that every student can have the opportunity to see someone that looks like them in the classroom.

“It’s important to see the diversity of our state reflected in our classrooms,” Loughran Cappel said. “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 also voted in favor of a measure this week, House Bill 2275, which restores collective bargaining rights regarding class and staff size, length of the school day and more for teachers in Chicago. These collective bargaining rights are already granted to teachers’ unions across the state and the nation.

Both the education reform measure, HB 2170, and HB 2275 have passed both chambers of the General Assembly and will be heading to the governor’s desk.