porfBURBANK – Members of the National Guard and Reserve who are college or university students could soon be able to make up coursework they missed due to military obligations, thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Mike Porfirio.

“It’s vital we support our servicemen and women in all facets of their lives, including their educational pursuits,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township), a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve. “This bill aims to alleviate the burden on National Guard and Reserve members by ensuring they have the opportunity to excel academically without being penalized for their commitment to military service.”

According to Student Veterans of America, around 16% of military students are members of the Reserve or National Guard. Porfirio’s measure would ensure fair treatment for these students by requiring public colleges and universities in Illinois to enact policies allowing students to complete missed classwork and assignments if the reason for the student’s absence was to fulfill military obligations. 

“By removing the barriers to academic success, we honor the sacrifices made by our service members and strengthen our commitment to educational equity,” said Porfirio. “This measure serves as a small token of our appreciation for their dedicated service.” 

House Bill 5655 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday and proceeds to the Senate Floor for further consideration.