* Gov. Bruce Rauner appeared today with Juan Salgado, the innovative President/CEO of Instituto Career Health Services Academy, to talk about the future of education. From the governor’s comments…
“[As Salgado said a few minutes ago, he would] put more resources into the other support networks for our students. Psychological support, counseling support, health support, because the challenges students have to overcome every day in their lives to be able to get in the classroom and study and learn is pretty overwhelming.
“That’s one of the reasons that we just created the Governor’s Cabinet for Children and Youth. We have 15 state departments that touch our young people in different elements of their life. We need to coordinate that, better focus it, so when we interact with a student who needs support, healthcare, counseling, potentially unfortunately sometimes justice issues, corrections issues. When we have a government touching a student, we should be coordinating that effort so we can maximize the impact with the students.
“For example, right now we have a dozen different databases about students, and if a student touches one department another department doesn’t even know that that interaction is even going on, and they can’t impact and benefit each other by coordinating the services that that student needs to realize their full potential. We need more cooperation, we need less bureaucracy, more efficiency and more money in the classroom to support our students.
“If we do that, every student can realize their fullest potential and we can have great schools and students ready to step into great careers in every neighborhood.”
The governor absolutely nailed it. He really gets this.
Except for one thing.
Those much-needed support services he spoke of are being decimated by this impasse.
* From the Peoria Journal Star…
As we were speaking with Gail Owen, the regional schools superintendent for Tazewell, Woodford and Mason counties, after the budget address, she made a point about another impact of the stalemate that hadn’t gotten much attention.
Of course many of us have heard — if not from the full-throated voice of our own local law enforcement — about how cutbacks in social services, many of them providing care for mental illness, affect the justice system.
But whether it’s violence prevention, post sexual assault counseling, even the lengthy fight over child care reimbursement, other support networks are seeing the effects on kids of cutbacks in programs that help either them or their parents and guardians. That includes teachers in the classroom.
Owen put it bluntly to us: “Without those support services, the schools are picking up the slack.”