early education

isbe.state.il.us

  Even as Illinois runs ever shorter on cash, the board of education is asking for $730 million increase in state funding.

Illinois' superintendent of schools is well aware of the state's financial strain. Christopher Koch has been in charge as over the past several years, the state has failed to come through with all the money it's supposed to give to meet local district's basic needs.

But, Koch says, "education is the smartest investment we can make in the economic future of our state."

Governor Pat Quinn says expanding Illinois' early childhood education programs should be one of the state's top priorities, but he hasn't detailed how to pay for them. Some lawmakers say Quinn's  "Birth to Five'' initiative's success is tied to the ongoing tax and spend debate that's expected to dominate this year's legislative agenda. 

Bethany Jaeger
WUIS/Illinois Issues

 

 

Illinois’ nationally recognized Preschool for All program, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich launched in 2006, is set to expire this year. Lawmakers are sure to renew it, but only for another two years, despite support to make it permanent. That’s the General Assembly’s way to keep a short leash on the governor for fear of sending him a blank check.