Thursday, June 11, 2009

Early Childhood Budget Cuts in IL

I sent out mass emails today, but I want to get this out there. EVERY Illinois resident can do something about this!

Click HERE to read about the impact of Early Intervention and Early Childhood!
Call the Governor's office today! 217-782-0244

As you know, I am an early childhood teacher in IL. In my district we have a wonderful early childhood program that not only provides intervention for special education early childhood students, but also students who are at-risk. Study after study has proven that the earlier the intervention is provided, the more successful the child will be in life as well as the more money will be saved. We catch students up on their Literacy skills before entering Kindergarten and often we are able to close the gap at that point! We help bring at-risk families on board with the school-home team at an early age and that leads to a more successful schooling career as they get older. Many states in our country are moving towards "Preschool for All", which would provide free preschool to all families just as Kindergarten through 12th grade is free to all. In addition, many families in our state utilize the Early Intervention services program that provides intervention for children and their families birth to age 3 who have delays (cognitive, physical, speech, etc). The Early Intervention providers are often the only ones in the home helping the child to meet his/her milestones as well as the one teaching the families what they need to do to help their child meet his/her potential. Families throughout the state receive great benefit from this service (not just at-risk families). Illinois used to be one of the leading states in the "Preschool for All" movement. However, last week, IL Governor Quinn proposed a version of the budget that COMPLETELY ELIMINATES FUNDING for critical services for young children and their families. Number one, this impacts the families of MANY children in our state and will not allow them to meet their potential. Number two, this impacts my job and the jobs of my co-workers. If the Early Childhood Block Grant (providing preschool for at-risk students) is cut, I will most likely lose my job as will many of my co-workers. The district, yesterday, decided at this time not to call back ANY of the 51 para-educators (assistants) that work in our program because if this new budget is passed, there will not be need for them.

I am asking you to PLEASE speak out against this and click on the link below. I have detailed some of the cuts below and the link is at the end of the message. Please do this for the young children of Illinois.

The budget:
* Eliminates the Early Childhood Block Grant, forcing 100,000 children out of preschool, cutting services for infants and toddlers, and causing more than 5,000 teachers to lose their jobs.
* Eliminates healthcare for 300,000 children and 175,000 parents.
* Cuts $769 million from the Department of Human Services, affecting more than 100,000 people.
* Cuts state agencies' funding by 37 percent.These cuts and others would devastate efforts to close the achievement gap for low-income children and severely impact the most vulnerable families in our state.

We need you to take ONE urgent action today:


In these hard economic times, cuts are being made everywhere. However, cutting services for infants and young children is the LAST place cuts should be made. Don't let our little ones get hurt by this.

Thank you for your support and please consider passing this on to friends, family and co-workers. Every person counts!

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