Illinois state capitol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         

April 23, 2024                                                                            

CONTACT: Mea Anderson | [email protected]

Stand for Children Celebrates the Passage of House Bill 5020, Bringing Illinois One Step Closer to Equitable Access to Dual Credit Courses

(Springfield) – Stand for Children celebrated a huge win for Dual Credit last week after the Illinois House passed House Bill 5020 (Blair-Sherlock). “Student access to dual credit has increased over the last five years, but those gains have not been equitable across student groups. HB5020 knocks down roadblocks to enable more Dual Credit access through strong local partnerships between high schools and community colleges, while maintaining a high bar for rigor,” said Stand for Children Government Affairs Director Aimee Galvin. 

Dual Credit courses allow high school students to get a jump start on their postsecondary and professional careers by providing them with opportunities to earn college credit while simultaneously earning high school credits. Inequitable access to Dual Credit persists and is felt more acutely in high-need regions of the state. This bill improves access for students across Illinois by providing multiple avenues for eligibility and better communication with families, helping more educators become fully qualified Dual Credit instructors, and prioritizing local partnerships. It also significantly improves access to Dual Credit within Career and Technical Education, where instructors will now qualify to teach based on relevant experience.

HB5020 passed with a near unanimous vote of 105-1-0 in the House on Thursday, thanks to the committed negotiations of the bill’s sponsor and education stakeholders. It now moves to the Senate for consideration. 

“Education is the key to economic mobility. Community college was my path to escape poverty, and that’s why we were so committed to working out this bill,” said Illinois State Representative Diane Blair-Sherlock, the bill’s House sponsor. “A student’s access to Dual Credit should not be driven by their zip code. A patchwork of inconsistent local policies around instructor qualifications is a recipe for inequitable access. We are grateful to the many education stakeholders who came to table to help us negotiate this bill to help students and protect the quality of Dual Credit courses.”


Stand for Children Illinois is a non-partisan education advocacy organization that fights for educational equity. Stand partners with parents to support their education journey and become strong advocates, and it advocates for proven policies and funding so that all students receive a high-quality, relevant education. Learn more about our work at