WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with representatives from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA), including Executive Director Jim Reed, Jr. and President Jon Looney. In the virtual meeting, Duckworth discussed her legislative and education priorities for the 117th Congress, COVID relief funding and how the Federal Government can help provide equitable, comprehensive support to community colleges.

“This pandemic continues to highlight how much community colleges across Illinois and the entire nation need federal relief,” Duckworth said. “I enjoyed my productive conversation today with representatives from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association and I’ll keep advocating to make sure colleges have the assistance they need and deserve.”

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Duckworth is a supporter of increasing resources for higher education institutions and making college more affordable for students. This week, she and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) along with their other Democratic colleagues in reintroducing a bicameral resolution calling on President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis by using existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers. In December 2020, Duckworth and Senator Durbin wrote to the leadership of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to request an increase in federal funding for faculty and staff in higher education as well as teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff in public K-12 schools who are supporting their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, Duckworth plans to reintroduce her Community College to Career Fund Act this Congress, to make higher education more affordable for students pursuing degrees in high-skill industries by helping businesses fill vacant, good-paying positions with qualified candidates; this bill has garnered the support of Harper College, an Illinois community college that was in attendance at today’s meeting.

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