Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and Senator Dick Durbin went to Parkland College to discuss education costs.
Both Democrats are sponsoring the “In The Red Act.” This legislation would provide federal funding for two years’ free tuition at community colleges. Durbin says if passed, the Act would help students, but only if they put in the work.
“You have to be a real student, and stay in school, and show that you’re doing your best and getting good grades to show for it. So it’s not an absolute free ride, but it’s there. And it means for some young students, a chance to get the first two years, a running start – not dragging debt into the next two years," he said.
Duckworth also told students she understands completing college can affect their entire family.
“Many of you are the vanguard in your families for future students to come. And if you find that it’s too overwhelming, and you’re not successful. Then the rest of our families, your siblings, or your future children won’t go to school,” she said.
Both lawmakers said they’re most surprised by the rising cost of college textbooks. One Parkland student says she paid 660-dollars this semester for four books, one of them rented.
The “In The Red Act” only has one Republican sponsor, but Duckworth says she hopes to improve the odds by beating incumbent Senator Mark Kirk in November.