Early Childhood Update

Lots of news from the Ounce Of Prevention folks, including some uncertainty downstate regarding the $45 million request to implement the Governor's Preschool For All plan.

From the Ounce:

Preschool Still on the Table

Early childhood supporters are anxiously awaiting the completion of budget
negotiations between Governor Blagojevich and legislative leaders. The Governor
has requested a $45 million expansion of the Early Childhood Block Grant to
begin implementation of his five year Preschool for All plan. Substantive
legislation to enact Preschool for All and to reduce barriers to teacher
certification will also be considered before adjournment. http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=73673174&u=675858

Senator Obama Pledges Support of Early Childhood at Ounce Annual

United States Senator Barack Obama hailed Illinois as an early childhood role
model for the nation, while speaking at a recent Ounce of Prevention luncheon.
Over 500 business leaders, philanthropists, advocates and opinion leaders
attended the Ounce's 5th annual "It's Good Business to Invest in Young Children"
luncheon. http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=73673174&u=675859

National Governors Association Picks Illinois for Early Childhood

Illinois has been chosen by the National Governors Association as one of
seven states to receive $10,000 grants to organize Governors' Early Childhood
Summits to advance a comprehensive "birth-to-five" state policy agenda. The
October summit will bring together early childhood, community, education,
government, business, union and foundation leaders to address key issues in
implementing Governor Blagojevich's proposal for Preschool for All. http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=73673174&u=675860

Student Teaching Bill Clears Hurdle

New legislation may soon make it easier for teacher aides and other early
childhood practitioners to pursue teacher certification while juggling job and
family responsibilities. SB 2202 clarifies the law to allow working early
childhood practitioners to continue to be paid and receive credit for student
teaching at their place of employment, provided that their student teaching
experience meets the requirements of their teacher preparation program. SB 2202
will also allow students to complete the student teaching portion of their
practical experience in any of the preschool (ages 3-5) or K-3 grades covered by
the 04 certificate. http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=73673174&u=675861

Toolkit Showcases Birth to Three Models

The Illinois State Board of Education website features a new toolkit
developed by the Illinois Early Learning Council to help Birth to Three programs
understand and adopt research-based models to improve their program offerings.
Legislation passed in 2005 requires Prevention Initiative programs funded
through the Early Childhood Block Grant to use a research-based model, and
amends the school code to focus new Birth to Three programs on at-risk children
and their families. http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=73673174&u=675862

Mercury Ban Proposed

Governor Blagojevich has proposed a plan to protect children's health by
requiring coal plants to reduce their mercury pollution by 90 percent or more by
June 30, 2009. http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=73673174&u=675863

Filed under: The World Outside CPS

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