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State Government

Illinois lawmakers are back at the capitol filing bills on early childhood education and K-12 schools. Here are five education issues Chalkbeat Chicago will watch during the session.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said his plan to increase early education spending would put the state on track to have universal pre-K by 2027.

Literacy advocates have pushed to get the state to address reading gaps for students. Now, with a state plan finalized, they are looking forward to seeing what’s next

As federal COVID funds run out, the district is grappling with how to pay for universal preschool going forward.

Illinois plans to provide 5,800 additional preschool seats for the state’s youngest learners

The details of Chicago’s 2024 school board elections are still being hammered out by state lawmakers.

Senate Democrats put forward a plan that would allow residents in 10 of 20 districts — or only half of Chicago – to vote for school board members in 2024. Now, House Democrats want to pair the 20 districts so everyone could vote.   

State lawmakers put forward the new proposal late Friday ahead of next week’s veto session. It also creates ethics rules and a committee focused on Black student achievement.

Illinois lawmakers have released a new draft map of 20 districts for Chicago Board of Education elections. Elections for 10 of the 21 seats are set for November 2024.

Illinois students are starting to gain ground on learning recovery but test scores lag behind pre-pandemic levels and chronic absenteeism is still high.

The governor will work with the legislature in spring 2024 to formalize the new agency’s structure. He is appointing a transition director and advisory committee to help figure out how to bring together preschool funding, daycare licensing, early intervention, and the state’s child care assistance program. 

State lawmakers have introduced a measure during veto session that would lift the ban on paying board members from Chicago’s elected school board.

Chicago teachers showed up at the Illinois State Board of Education’s monthly meeting to urge board members to help the city’s public schools with the ongoing migrant crisis.

With the deadline to spend federal COVID money coming in September 2024, educators, advocates, and lobbyists urged the state to add more funding for schools in the 2025 budget.

The Youth in Care - College Advocate Program aims to help students who can feel isolated and often struggle to graduate.

Illinois Action for Children’s report on child care in Cook County found that federal emergency relief funds allowed many providers to keep their doors open. However, families still face barriers to get affordable care.

The Parent Mentor Program started in Chicago in 1995. After 28 years, the program has expanded to over 2,000 parents at almost 230 schools around the state. On Friday, the program kicked off the new school year welcoming parent mentors back to the classroom at a celebration at Harry S. Truman Community College.

Illinois lawmakers and school officials want the state to increase funding for school meals to provide meals for all students regardless of income.