Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2091
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Full Text of SB2091  101st General Assembly


Sen. Omar Aquino

Filed: 4/5/2019





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 2091, AS AMENDED,
3by replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 5. The Higher Education Student Assistance Act is
6amended by adding Section 65.105 as follows:
7    (110 ILCS 947/65.105 new)
8    Sec. 65.105. Early Childhood Workforce Free College grant
10    (a) In this Section:
11    "Child care or early childhood education setting" means a
12facility licensed under the Child Care Act of 1969, a licensed
13or license-exempt child care provider under Section 9A-11 of
14the Illinois Public Aid Code, a federal Head Start or Early
15Head Start program, or a preschool program funded under Section
162-3.71 of the School Code.



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1    "Child care worker" means an Illinois resident who has been
2working in any child care or early childhood education setting
3for at least 2 years or, at some point during the last 5 years,
4worked in such a setting for the equivalent of 2 years.
5    "Early childhood degree program" means a regionally
6accredited degree program administered solely through an
7Illinois-based, not-for-profit organization or through a
8public institution through which a child care worker may take a
9curriculum of courses leading to a Child Development
10certificate or associate degree (CDA), an associate or
11bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE), or a
12Professional Educator License (PEL).
13    "Public institution" means the University of Illinois,
14Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University,
15Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University,
16Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University,
17Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, any
18public community college in this State, or any other public
19university, college, or community college now or hereafter
20established or authorized by the General Assembly.
21    "Student aid" means a scholarship or grant, other than an
22Early Childhood Workforce Free College grant created under this
23Section, awarded to a student from any source that does not
24require repayment. "Student aid" does not include student loans
25and work-study awards.
26    (b) Beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year, subject to



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1appropriation, the Commission shall implement and administer a
2program to award Early Childhood Workforce Free College grants
3to all eligible child care workers seeking a Child Development
4certificate or associate degree, an associate or bachelor's
5degree in ECE, or a PEL from a public institution or an online
6early childhood degree program or seeking to enroll in an
7alternative educator licensure program under Section 21B-50 of
8the School Code. All of the following terms and conditions
9shall apply to the program:
10        (1) To be eligible for a grant, a student must (i)
11    possess a high school diploma or a high school equivalency
12    certificate, (ii) be admitted to and enrolled in a public
13    institution or an early childhood degree program, and (iii)
14    have an individually adjusted gross income equal to or less
15    than $85,000.
16        (2) Students applying for a grant must annually
17    complete the Early Childhood Education Workforce Free
18    College grant application. A student who has the capacity
19    to draw federal student aid shall complete the Free
20    Application for Federal Student Aid each academic year in
21    which he or she seeks to receive a grant.
22        (3) To continue to receive a grant, a student must
23    maintain Illinois residency.
24        (4) Each academic year, a grant shall be equal to the
25    cost of tuition and mandatory fees at the public
26    institution or early childhood degree program attended,



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1    less all other student aid. However, if a student chooses
2    to enroll in a private institution, the grant shall be no
3    more than 150% of the highest rate paid on behalf of
4    students in a similar program at a public institution to
5    cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees, less all
6    other student aid. Student aid shall be credited first to
7    the student's tuition and mandatory fees. Eligible
8    students who receive student aid exceeding their tuition
9    cost and mandatory fees and demonstrate additional need
10    shall be eligible to receive additional financial support,
11    including, but not limited to, funds for the purchase of
12    required books and supplies, lab fees, and activity fees,
13    through procedures set forth in rules adopted by the
14    Commission. Each public institution or early childhood
15    degree program must annually report to the Commission its
16    undergraduate tuition rate for Illinois residents.
17        (5) A student is eligible for a grant and any grant
18    renewals until he or she has earned a bachelor's degree in
19    ECE or a Professional Educator License.
20        (6) After completion of or disenrolling from his or her
21    program of study, the student must reside and work within
22    this State in a child care or early childhood education
23    setting for a minimum of one year. If the student does not
24    reside and work within this State for a minimum of one
25    year, the student must repay the total grant amount awarded
26    to him or her through installments in accordance with rules



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1    adopted by the Commission.
2    Exceptions to the qualification requirements under
3paragraphs (1) through (6) of this subsection must be made by
4the Commission for extenuating circumstances, as provided in
5rules adopted by the Commission, with advice from the Early
6Childhood Workforce Free College Advisory Committee created
7under subsection (e).
8    (c) In awarding grants under this Section, if, in any
9fiscal year, the amount appropriated for the grants is less
10than the amount determined necessary to cover the cost of
11attendance for all eligible applicants, the Commission must
12proportionately reduce the grants.
13    (d) The Early Childhood Workforce Free College Fund is
14created as a special fund in the State treasury. The Fund shall
15consist of money appropriated by the General Assembly and any
16gifts, bequests, or donations made to the Fund. All money in
17the Fund shall be used only by the Commission for the purposes
18of this Section.
19    (e) The Illinois Early Learning Council must establish the
20Early Childhood Workforce Free College Advisory Committee for
21the purpose of advising the Commission on all matters related
22to the Early Childhood Workforce Free College grant program.
23The Advisory Committee must be comprised of all of the
24following members, appointed by the Illinois Early Learning
26        (1) One representative each from the Governor's Office



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1    of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Community
2    College Board, and the Board of Higher Education, one of
3    whom shall serve as a chairperson, and the remaining
4    members shall be ex officio and nonvoting members.
5        (2) Eight members as follows:
6            (A) one member who is a preschool teacher at a
7        public school;
8            (B) one member who is a child care center preschool
9        teacher;
10            (C) one member who is a child care center infant or
11        toddler teacher;
12            (D) one member who is a child care center or early
13        learning teacher's assistant at a public school;
14            (E) one member who is a home child care provider
15        through the Department of Human Services' Child Care
16        Assistance Program;
17            (F) one member representing statewide trade or
18        labor unions;
19            (G) one member representing organizations engaging
20        in advocacy of the early childhood workforce; and
21            (H) one member who is an administrator of federal
22        Head Start grant program funds, State preschool funds,
23        or site-administered grants under the Child Care
24        Assistance Program.
25    Appointed members of the Advisory Committee, other than
26initial appointees, shall serve for a term of 3 years or until



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1a replacement is named. All initial members shall be appointed
2no later than August 1, 2020. Of the initial appointees, 5
3members shall serve a term of 2 years and 6 members shall serve
4a term of 3 years. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy
5occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his or
6her predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the
7remainder of that term. The Advisory Committee shall meet at
8least once every 6 months and may meet more frequently at the
9call of the chairperson. A simple majority of those appointed
10shall constitute a quorum. The affirmative vote of a majority
11of those present and voting shall be necessary for Advisory
12Committee action. Members of the Advisory Committee shall
13receive no compensation for their services, but may be
14reimbursed for their expenses incurred in performing their
15duties from funds appropriated to the Commission for that
16purpose. Administrative and other support to the Advisory
17Committee shall be provided by the Illinois Early Learning
19    The Advisory Committee shall do all of the following:
20        (1) Study and make recommendations to the Commission
21    that are related to the implementation of the Early
22    Childhood Workforce Free College grant program.
23        (2) Evaluate data received by the Commission to ensure
24    the program is at full utilization.
25        (3) Address access issues to the program, including,
26    but not limited to, geographic, financial, cultural, and



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1    workplace settings.
2    Section 10. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
3Section 5.891 as follows:
4    (30 ILCS 105/5.891 new)
5    Sec. 5.891. The Early Childhood Workforce Free College
7    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
8becoming law.".