porfirio 052424SPRINGFIELD – Members of the National Guard and Reserve who are college or university students could soon be able to make up coursework they missed due to military obligations, thanks to a measure State Senator Mike Porfirio advanced out of the Senate on Wednesday.

“Supporting our National Guard and Reserve members means recognizing their sacrifice and commitment to both our nation’s security and their educational goals,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township). “Ensuring access to an equitable educational experience for those who serve is not just a benefit; it’s a moral imperative that strengthens our armed forces and communities.”

According to Student Veterans of America, around 16% of military students are members of the Reserve or National Guard. Porfirio’s measure would ensure fair treatment for these students by requiring public colleges and universities in Illinois to enact policies allowing students to complete missed classwork and assignments if the reason for the student’s absence was to fulfill military obligations. 

“Our service members deserve every chance to succeed both in the classroom and when performing their military duties,” said Porfirio. “Providing flexibility for missed coursework acknowledges their dual responsibilities and values their pursuit of higher education.”  

House Bill 5655 passed both chambers of the General Assembly and heads to the governor for final approval.