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Bertino-Tarrant passes law to increase college affordability

jbt 030918PLAINFIELD — Illinois students will have additional opportunities to lower the out-of-pocket costs of their college education thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant championed Senate Bill 2527 to prohibit school boards from limiting the number of dual-credit courses taken by a student. It was signed into law Friday.

“Dual-credit courses offer great economic benefits to families,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As the mother of a high school sophomore, I know what parents are going through. Like any other parent, I want my children to graduate college full of opportunities, not burdened with student loans.”

Dual credit, which allows students to enroll in postsecondary coursework while still enrolled in high school, is a promising approach to improving academic outcomes for students, Bertino-Tarrant said.

“These courses help prepare students for college coursework while meeting general high school requirements,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “They are also much more cost effective than waiting to take the courses at a college or university.”

Under Senate Bill 2527, dual-credit courses must be taught by an instructor as outlined by the Illinois school code or by a licensed teacher or community college professor or instructor in Illinois.

The new law also requires a school board to award high school credit to a student for dual-credit coursework unless the course's rigor and content does not meet the Illinois Learning Standard.

“College can be expensive,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will give our students a chance to save money while better preparing them for higher education courses.”

Senate Bill 2527 passed with bipartisan support and will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Mark Batinick; Natalie A. Manley

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education (Chairperson); Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Transportation.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.