Monday, April 07, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich Sends Lawmakers, Leaders to Early Education Meeting at Harvard, Plugs IL's 1st in Nation Pre-School Status

(Springfield, IL) -- From the Give-Credit-Where-Credit-Is-Due-Department, Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced on Friday that a group of Illinois leaders had been selected to participate in the National Symposium on Early Childhood Science and Policy at Harvard University this summer, and he noted a nugget as rare as a tropical palm and good grace in Springfield: a genuine administration policy success. Kid you not.

Illinois’ pre-kindergarten program was ranked first nationally for enrolling 19 percent of the state’s three-year-olds, according to The State of Preschool 2007: State Preschool Yearbook released in March. Nationwide, enrollment of three-year-olds was up 10 percent, mostly due to increases here in Illinois, which became the first state to commit to serving all three-year-olds.

Blagojevich has increased funding for his early childhood education program, Preschool for All, by 90 percent, or $164 million, over the past five years. The FY 2009 budget includes additional funding to further expand the program.

With so many other lagging, slouching, and slumping state indicators, the state's 1st place pre-school status is bona fide good news. Blagojevich gets the credit. Of course, that will infuriate the Governor Blagojevich's fiercest critics--which amounts to just about everyone.

Illinois’ team members attending the symposium in Cambridge, Mass. on June 26 and 27 include: Dr. Christopher A. Koch, State Superintendent of Education; State Senator Don Harmon, D-Oak Park; State Senator Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry; State Represtentative Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago; State Representative Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling; Kelly King Dibble, senior vice president and director of Public Affairs and Government Relations at Northern Trust and board member for Ounce of Prevention; Jerome Stermer, president of Voices for Illinois Children; and Elliot M. Regenstein, Co-Chair, Illinois Early Learning Council.

Of course this year's battle over the 'Ugly Betty' budget at the capitol--which likely will resemble a pre-school classroom--may short-circuit the lawmakers' attendance. But let's savor the moment.

Your Two Cents Less


Kofi,  8:05 PM  

I received this video on google video in my email. It is fascinating because it is with insider Tom Carey, the brother in law to Jeremiah Joyce.

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