Central Illinois Senator Unveils Higher Education Reform Bill

Sep 28, 2017

Credit Rockford Public Schools

State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said he's filing a measure designed to launch major changes in higher education.

Citing the high out-migration of students to other states, Rose wants to make it easier for Illinois students to enter state universities.

He aims to create a common application form for all 12 public university campuses and guarantee acceptance for any student who finished high school with a B average.

Rose also wants the state Board of Higher Education to help determine what each public university campus does best, rather than replicating existing programs.

Despite recommendations from other lawmakers, Rose also said he doesn't want to close any college campus.

"To simply go out there willy-nilly with an axe like that makes no sense to me," he said. "But to keep doing what we've been doing, with this sort of outcompeting ourselves with this growth-growth-growth mission creep, mission creep, mission creep is accomplishing the same task."

Instead, each school would get support for its specialty. Rose said his legislation is only the beginning of what he hopes will be a robust bipartisan conversation.