early childhood education

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that makes it illegal to expel toddlers from preschools.

Backers of the new law point to a study that says toddlers and other Illinois preschoolers are expelled at a rate three times greater than their older, school-age counterparts.

“I just want you to let that sink in.”

State Rep. Juliana Stratton is a Democrat from Chicago.

“When you see expulsion in early years, it leads to higher suspension and expulsion rates in later grades."

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana have made a rare joint appearance at a cabinet discussion about youth policies amid her nonprofit group's involvement in a lawsuit against his administration.  Diana Rauner is a Democrat who runs a child advocacy group called the Ounce of Prevention Fund. She and the Republican governor sat opposite each other at the cabinet meeting, but did not interact until she delivered a presentation on early childhood education.

During his budget address yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner pledged to fully-fund state aid to public schools. Today, a state senator is questioning the governor's math.

Illinois' public schools receive state aid through a complicated formula. It’s meant to ensure that every school can spend at least 6 thousand dollars per student every year. But for the past few years, state government hasn’t met that obligation.

Rauner said for the first time in 7 years, he wants to fund 100 percent of the state aid formula.

Educators, community rally for early childhood education

Feb 17, 2016
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

District 150 teachers, administrators and city officials are rallying outside Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center Wednesday morning.

The Peoria Federation of Teachers Local 780 is hosting a walk in at the school, on Peoria’s South Side, in support of early childhood education.

About 445 students are enrolled in pre-kindergarten to first grade at Valeska Hinton. More than 450 children are on the waiting list.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Parents enrolling their kids in Peoria's Head Start programs got to meet their teachers this week. 670 pre-k students are enrolled at Trewyn, Manual, Sterling and Webster. But this year, 80 kids are on the waiting list.

Head Start Director Sandra Burke says recent state cuts to childcare assistance leave limited options to refer families who can't make it into the program.

Illinois received 20 million dollars from the federal government for expanding access to early childhood education. Illinois currently enrolls just over a quarter of its 4 year olds in state-funded preschool for low-income families. 

Illinois has won an $80 million federal grant to increase access to early childhood education. Gov. Pat Quinn announced the award Wednesday. His office says the state will receive a maximum of $20 million per year for four years.

Diana Rauner distances herself from budget requests

May 6, 2014

Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is a Republican, but his wife says she is not. As Rauner's campaign continues to criticize Governor Quinn's stance on taxes, Rauner's wife has a stake in the cause. IPR'S Hannah Meisel has more.

Just after the March primary election, Illinois was introduced to Diana Rauner, Bruce Rauner's wife. She introduced herself as...