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|Illinois Kids Target of Proposed Budget Cuts
|(IRN)--Following the governor's budget address Wednesday, a group that's fighting for early childhood funding announced new data that they say shows certain programs have fallen in line with the state's "budgeting for outcomes" strategy.
One major program was an early childhood block grant that has seen cuts in recent years. Voices for Illinois Children director of government relations Sean Noble explains: "In the last two years, what had happened was we cut back on early childhood in FY10 by 10 percent, about $38 million," said Noble. "And the State Board of Education said what that meant was about 5,000 kids lost services. And that would be kids aged 3-5 who were getting pre-school supported by the state."
Noble says unpaid bills last year saw the closure of several pre-schools throughout the state that resulted in 2,600 additional pre-school kids losing services.
This year, however, Noble is hopeful. "The governor is calling for a restoration of these dollars, which is an enormous step in ensuring that these investments in young children are really shored up," he said.
Still, the budget crisis has Voices for Illinois Children president Kathy Ryg concerned for what cuts might come.
"The crisis continues to jeopardize investments in early childhood education and care, health insurance coverage, children's mental health, family supports, and all the other essential programs and services," she said. "So this data is particularly relevant as we are paying attention to budgeting for outcomes and investments that have good results."
(Source: Illinois Radio Newtork)
|02 17 11 by Newsroom
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