Simmons Remote LearningSPRINGFIELD – To provide students in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections a chance to continue to earn an education while serving their time, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to allow students to attend classes remotely.

“I want the youth of our state, regardless of their situation, to be able to access a quality education,” Simmons said. “Allowing students in custody to continue their education will give them a better chance at having a positive outcome when re-entering society.”

Simmons’ measure would create a pilot program to allow remote learning for students of Consuella B. York Alternative High School that are in the custody of the IDOC. If successful, the program could roll out in other alternative schools across Illinois. California currently has programs that allow inmates to work towards their Bachelor’s Degree. Research from the Cal Matters Organization shown such programs have contributed to improving opportunities and lowered recidivism rates.

“The goal of any incarceration program is to reform people of past actions and provide opportunities for education and career placement,” Simmons said. “This program will provide such opportunities and will provide youth a second chance.”

House Bill 5016 passed the Senate Education Committee and awaits further consideration.

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