diploma 050922SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after the measure she supported banning public high schools from withholding transcripts and diplomas due to unpaid balances on a student’s account became law Friday:

“The value of our students should not be determined by the money they owe to their institutions, which is exactly what the practice of withholding students’ records due to an unpaid balance would suggest. Students are deserving of the documentation that shows they have completed their established requisites, and not having access to these records can interrupt a student’s learning path by blocking opportunities to higher education and job entry.”

“These kinds of insidious practices often occur without any state or federal mandate and primarily affect low-income and underserved students who struggle to pay these debts because of financial instability, making this an issue of equity. Continuing to allow a person’s pursuit of a stable future to be derailed by these expenses, which can be as low as $25, would be a great disservice to students, institutions and local economies alike.”

With this new law that took effect immediately, Illinois joins the ranks of few states, including California, Washington and Louisiana, taking a firm stance against barriers inhibiting students’ journeys toward success and personal security.