Illinois program promotes diversity in advanced classes

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rauner-bellevilleBELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is publicizing a program designed to make it easier for low-income and minority students to find seats in advanced-placement classes in high school.

The Republican and his education adviser _ Beth Purvis _ spoke with Belleville West High School students Tuesday about the Lead Higher Initiative . Illinois was first in the nation to be selected for the program last March.

A nonprofit group called Equal Opportunity Schools runs the initiative with the nation’s leading college preparatory programs. It works with high schools to identify and enroll students in college preparatory classes who might otherwise miss out. This helps schools more accurately reflect student diversity in their advanced classes.

Rauner says Illinois has a “moral obligation” to make these classes accessible to students from all backgrounds.