What HB 2170 Means for Illinois’ Children
March 25, 2021
During this past year, the coronavirus pandemic has had an impressionable and, in most situations, lasting impact on Illinois’ children. Many teachers, administrators, professionals, parents and caretakers have worked tirelessly to help their students succeed during these unprecedented times. Virtual learning and virtual classroom participation have become the norm in many school districts across Illinois. And even though parts of Illinois have begun to open, thereby allowing more school districts to allow some in-person instruction, the impact of the coronavirus has only exacerbated historic disparities that are widely known in our public-school districts. These disparities have unequivocally effected students of color.
House Bill 2170, which is supported by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, is designed to address these disparities and lack of resources effecting so many communities of color. On March 22, 2021, Governor J. B. Pritzker signed this bill into law. Overall, this law will provide needed resources to communities that need them the most. For example, now children who are enrolled and will be attending kindergarten must be evaluated to determine their level of need and preparedness for kindergarten. In additionally, early intervention services that are normally discontinued at the age of three are required to continue.
According to a March 10, 2021 article published by Shelby Bremer on the NBC Chicago website titled “HB 2170: What’s Included in the New Law Aimed at Improving Equity in Illinois’ Education System,” gaps in care will be addressed under this law. “Starting in 2022, children who receive early intervention services—support available to young children with developmental delays and disabilities—can continue to receive those services after the previous cut off age to three, up until the beginning of the next school year, if their birthday falls between May 1 and August 31, to help minimize gaps in care.”
This new law only addresses a few inequalities in the Illinois Public School System. As constituents and advocates for Illinois children, it is crucial that we discuss this new law with our congregations and those in our communities. Let us give all Illinois children a fighting chance by hosting a church meeting to discuss this new law. Invite members of your church, community leaders, school professionals and those who are interested and support children. Collectively, we can be the change needed in so many of our children’s lives. Let us be that change.
More information regarding this new law is available at Illinois Voices for Children website. Click here for a statement from the IVC Executive Director.
Rev. Beverly Dukes, MS., MDiv.
United Voices for Children
Shelby Bremer, “HB2170: What’s Included in the New Law Aimed at Improving Equity in Illinois Education System,” Channel Five News Chicago, updated March 10, 2021, https://www. HB 2170: What’s Included in the New Law Aimed at Improving Equity in Illinois’ Education System – NBC Chicago
 Shelby Bremer, “HB2170: What’s Included in the New Law Aimed at Improving Equity in Illinois Education System,” NBC Chicago, updated March 10, 2021, https://www. HB 2170: What’s Included in the New Law Aimed at Improving Equity in Illinois’ Education System – NBC Chicago