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ISBE Hopes To Expand Early Childhood Education

U.S. Department of Education

Illinois received $20 million from the federal government for expanding access to early childhood education.

Illinois currently enrolls 27 percent of its 4-year-olds in state-funded preschool for low-income families. Reyna Hernandez of the Illinois State Board of Education says it's hoping to expand that number with Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed increase of 25 million dollars to early childhood education.

"What we're looking to do is really target those children and those families who might be at risk of having--of being part of the achievement gap... so that the gap doesn't grow, the gap doesn't, ideally, doesn't persist," she said.

Supporters say it is important to enroll students in early childhood education. The attempts to give more money to state preschool come as school districts just saw their budgets cut.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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