The following release was issued by the offices of State Rep. Kimberly Lightford:
The General Assembly is off to an exciting start this year. I want to give you a quick update on what’s going on.
I’m sure you know by now that improving the quality of our children’s education is one of my top priorities. This year, we may be taking an exciting step forward to ensure all children have an equal chance to get a good education. For the past several months, I have been meeting with a bipartisan group of legislators to discuss how we fund our schools. We haven’t thoroughly overhauled our system since 1997, and the system we have now has become complicated and unfair.
I believe all children should have equal access to the resources they need to succeed, but right now, there’s a vast inequality between wealthy school districts and poor school districts. That must change. Your ZIP code should not determine the quality of your children’s education.
Our committee – the Education Funding Advisory Committee – released its report last month. We made 10 key recommendations, but our main point is that we need a single funding formula for the whole state that ensures all schools receive a minimum fair amount of funding from the state and that poorer districts receive the resources they need to help children succeed.
I’m also sponsoring several bills to help our children stay safe and succeed. Read more about my push to make sure Chicago’s “Safe Passages” really are safe.
Increasing the minimum wage
This year, I plan to continue fighting to make the minimum wage a living wage. No one who works 40 hours or more per week should have to rely on government assistance to put healthy food on the table and a roof over his or her head.
Click here to see a photo, video and radio story about an exciting minimum wage rally we held at the Capitol last week.
In the District
Even though we’re busy in Springfield, I’m still doing all I can to improve the quality of life for people who live in our local communities.
Click here to nominate a grandparent who’s raising his or her grandchildren for my annual Rainbow Tea Ceremony. This event honors loving grandparents who are raising their grandchildren with dinner, entertainment, prizes and recognition certificates.
Learn more here about a great scholarship opportunity presented by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. Every year, we hand out one-time scholarships to help undergraduate students afford the cost of a college education.
Finally, don’t forget that you can visit me at the Capitol when I’m down in Springfield! I always welcome the chance to speak to members of the community about the issues that are important to them. I want to thank military personnel Alicia Brown (pictured) who came to speak to me about pensions this week.
Thank you and God bless,
Assistant Majority Leader
4th District – Illinois