“After nearly a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Higher Education Committee will have a lot to consider to help our universities recover,” said Stuart. “My district encompasses the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus, so I have seen firsthand how our state universities are adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, while also dealing with issues that existed before the pandemic like college affordability, student safety and decreases in state and federal funding.”
Stuart has served on the Higher Education Committee since 2017. As a former instructor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Stuart had seen how years of underfunding the Illinois university system has slowed the progress of students, employees and communities. Since serving on the Higher Education Committee, Stuart has worked on crucial legislation, like implementing the AIM HIGH scholarship for high-achieving Illinois students. Stuart also chaired the bicameral, bipartisan Higher Education Working Group that has put forth policies that support the transfer of credits between community colleges and four-year institutions to help with affordability and degree completion. As the new committee chair, Stuart will work to increase funding opportunities for institutions, provide tuition relief and affordability for students, and mitigate the challenges facing universities as a result of the pandemic.
“The reason I decided to run for state representative was to address the lack of funding and resources going to our schools and universities,” continued Stuart. “I am looking forward to continuing the fight for fair funding and many other issues as the chair of the House Higher Education Committee.”