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Pritzker’ new $210 million 5-point early education plan

Wednesday, Aug 9, 2017

* From a press release…

Today, in a speech at the Young Achievers Academy, JB Pritzker released his five-point plan to expand early childhood education in Illinois. JB was joined by Zuli Turner, the President of the Young Achievers Academy and a leading provider of early childhood educational services on the South Side of Chicago. Read the full plan here.

JB’s proposal outlines what he will do as governor to build a comprehensive birth-to-five educational system so every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. The plan is an extension of JB’s lifelong passion and over twenty years of advocacy for increasing access to high-quality early education:

    Ensure every child participates in kindergarten by lowering the compulsory school age from 6 to 5 years old. 


    Put Illinois on a path towards universal preschool for 3 and 4-year-olds, starting with the children who would benefit the most.

    Increase access to the Child Care Assistance Program by raising income eligibility to 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and creating an exit ramp at 300% of the FPL, which will allow working parents to increase their wages without losing assistance.

    Expand birth-to-three services and create a new ‘Family Engagement Portal’ that will provide every new and expecting parent with comprehensive information about child development.

    Invest in adding more teachers and classrooms so we can build capacity to make a universal early childhood system a reality. 


“I’ve spent my whole life fighting for early childhood education, and that won’t stop when I get to Springfield,” said JB Pritzker. “That’s why I’m so grateful to be here at Young Achievers Academy. I’m grateful to be in a room full of people I know share a common goal — we want to set our children up for success and give them the tools they need to build better lives. I am proposing this plan because I believe there is no greater investment we can make in our children and our middle-class families than early childhood education.”

All five of those points are fleshed out more on his website. So click here if this interests you.

* What’s missing, however, is a cost estimate. I asked for one and was told it’s $210 million. Here’s the breakdown…

* Lower compulsory school age: About $50 million per year to help 5,000 kindergarten-age kids who don’t currently go to kindergarten.

* Universal preschool: First year is $95 million for about 16,400 kids. But it would rise exponentially as more kids are covered.

* CCAP: $53 million, assuming the governor returns the program to 185 percent of FPL as he’s said he would do. The increase would benefit about 10,500 kids.

* Expand birth-to-three: $7 million for about 160,000 children.

* More teachers: $5 million to provide $10,000 in financial incentives for about 500 prospective teachers, which would eventually benefit about 20,000 kids per year.

There’s also a capital component, but they don’t have a cost estimate and say it wouldn’t be funded through GRF.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

42 Comments
  1. - John Rawlsss - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    Spend spend spend…


  2. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    JB footing the bill for this? State can’t pay for current programs so let’s add more…


  3. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    I remain unconvinced that early childhood issues, while laudable, are fertile ground for votes.


  4. - City Zen - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Can we tap into Northwestern’s $9.6B endowment to pay for this?


  5. - walker - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    We’re not used to any details this early in campaigns.


  6. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    JB, hold your horses big fella. Way too early to be laying out major programs. Stick to positive ads to build your legitimacy and hit pieces on Rauner.


  7. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    JB is going to be wildly disappointed to find out after he buys the governor’s job that there is no money to do any of the fancy spending programs he will undoubtedly be proposing over the next year.

    The last tax increase didn’t even balance the budget, and he is proposing more spending.

    It’s not the 90’s anymore, and the bill has come due. The old days of kicking the can while piling on new spending have run out of road.


  8. - All Knowing Oz - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    Some more “Womb to the tomb.” Nothing new here.


  9. - Matt P. - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    “Universal” = All

    Don’t call it “universal pre-k” if it only benefits poor people.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    Promises, promises. The lifeblood of politicians.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    I can see why The Ounce of Prevention and Diana Rauner wanted to partner with JB Pritzker and the Prizker Foundations.

    I think I’ve captured what The Ounce and Diana might think, but why NOT let Diana Rauner vouch for JB Pritzker and his commitment to “birth to five”

    ===”More than three decades of experience have led us to identify some big bets that have the potential to transform early learning. We are so grateful to the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation for sharing our belief in these innovations,” said Diana Rauner, president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. “By developing strong leaders and programs, empowering parents and strengthening early learning systems, together we can change lives for children and families.===

    You can read the glowing words yourself here…

    http://prn.to/2nq8L7m

    And, if you forgot, The Ounce also pushed for an override of Bruce’s budget veto.

    Food for thought.


  12. - Century Club - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    Coming after the release of the health care priorities, he has once again laid out a platform that is pretty standard stuff for an IL Dem. Coming this early on, my bet is that he believes he has tackled his introduction to IL Dem voters and is now basically owning the standard Dem platform so that the onus is on Kennedy, Biss, et al, to distinguish themselves from him - which will be that much tougher, given the advantage of his $$ and party support.


  13. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===Don’t call it “universal pre-k” if it only benefits poor people.===

    What is stopping non-poor people from enrolling their kids in pre-K programs?


  14. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    Let’s see. Single payer. Early childhood ed. More money for K-12. Larger capitol improvement spending. Watch out working poor and middle classes, JB coming to get you.


  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    ===Way too early to be laying out major programs===

    Meh. I’ve seen plenty of criticism in comments here about the lack of proposals from any of the candidates.

    It’s a campaign, people. Candidates roll out ideas. Why would you discourage that? Plus, he did something that a lot of candidates don’t and actually attached a dollar figure to it.


  16. - Mr B. - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    One on one, Pritzker vs. Kennedy, he might lose. But he is definitely doing the right things to firm up his party’s nomination. With regards to his splendid 5 point early education program - Me thinks that we, the State of Illinois, might be broke. Being Guv may not be such a fun job..


  17. - Newsclown - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    It may be that the candidate’s rhetoric about early education is really about playing to a key voting demographic - young to middle-aged working women and moms - who tend to vote more often. It may explain a bias for the young end of education being funded more than higher ed. My question is, though, if you let Higher ed crater, just so you can improve P-10, where do the high schoolers have to go once they’ve graduated?


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    (Sigh)

    ===Early childhood ed.===

    That’s Diana Rauner’s career, Bruce supports those programs too. (Allegedly?)

    ===More money for K-12.===

    Rauner, and Diana Rauner too, is touting a $700 million increase in K-12

    ===Larger capitol improvement spending.===

    Didn’t the Governor float the idea of Capital Improvement plans, at least twice?

    So what are you *exactly* sayin’?


  19. - Mod Dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Expanding CCAP is expanding employment for SEIU. I never understand why this connection is not made. 1,000s of union employees,1000’s of dues, 1000’s of turnover leading to unemployment claiims. This notion that personally selected childcare workers are unionized as quasi-state employees has always bothered me as a huge built in inefficiency and cost.


  20. - Anon0091 - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Early Childhood Education is the best investment money can buy. Nobel-prize winning economists have repeatedly confirmed it returns more than seven dollars for each dollar invested. That means more kids ready to learn, fewer kids in jail. And no, he’s not doing this because “it’s standard Dem stuff.” He’s doing it because it’s a passion of his going back 20 years.


  21. - Anon0091 - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    And Blue Dog, you may have missed it, but JB’s not the one touting “single payer.” He’s the one touting a public option that you buy into.


  22. - Noeva - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    His whole life???


  23. - Matt P. - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    ===”What is stopping non-poor people from enrolling their kids in pre-K programs?”===

    It’s $10,000 - $20,000 for a full week pre-k program. That can cost 25% of someone’s takehome pay who makes $60,000.

    Be honest with the name of the program. It’s a low-income pre-k program.

    But that doesn’t play as well with soccer moms in the suburbs.


  24. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===It’s $10,000 - $20,000 for a full week pre-k program. That can cost 25% of someone’s takehome pay who makes $60,000.===

    Depending on the size of your family, you might qualify for this program Matt. Also, at $7/hr, hiring a baby sitter full-time to watch your kids will cost you close to $16,000 per year. Wouldn’t it be better to enroll them in a place where they might get some education too, in addition to having someone watch them while you work?

    Or maybe you take your kids to work with you. That’s cool too, as long as someone is watching them.


  25. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    Rich. All for laying out programs. But very concerned about how to pay for.

    OW. What I am saying is, at the end of the day, not much differrence in any of them. They say what it takes to get elected. Then, when the day is over, who gets to pay for it. Yup, you guessed it. The working poor and middle classes.

    That is why I want specific, step by step process on what each Dem candidate is going to do to get progressive income tax. Not just campaign song and dance.


  26. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    I’m not discouraging the rolling out of ideas, my point is a political one regarding timing. Unfortunately, we have too many politicians who speak in generalities about what they will do and focus most of their energy on attacking their opponents. We’re about 7 months away from the primary. People are not focused on campaigns right now. So by outlining programs prior to when the focus is greater you are simply providing the lazy opponent with a longer opportunity to analyze and nitpick your plans.

    Save the time to fine tune the ideas and present them closer to the actual election.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    - blue dog dem -

    Reading is fundamental.

    Rich gave a link, a quote ($210 million), even hit a written breakdown.

    You have cost and breakdown. You could nose around and see where any/every candidate stands on progressive income tax, but know what has been said here 4,387 times… you need to change the constitution. Not an easy lift.


  28. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    OW. Yes . Reading is fundamental. Show me how this is payed for. Kinda like savings through reform, waste, fraud and abuse?

    I am looking for step by step action on a progressive income tax increase. Not excuses on how difficult it might be. Or, just an admission by candidates, that if we csnt get it done, working poor and middle classes, you will be expected to do the heavy lifting. Again.


  29. - Matt P. - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    47th Ward —

    You avoid all discussion of the misleading title of the program.

    It’s not universal pre-k. It’s low-income pre-k.


  30. - Matt P. - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    47th —

    I’m creating a program myself called “Universal Cash Payments of $10,000 to Everyone in Illinois*”!

    *Only 1 person qualifies


  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    No credible campaign at any level wants me speaking for them.

    I try to point out the published, publicly known positions, that could answer questions.

    I wrote “this”…

    ===You could nose around and see where any/every candidate stands on progressive income tax===

    I left it exactly there, purposely.

    I also left in this elusive premise of the “easy” progressive income tax change. You may not like to hear about if it not, but the fact changing the constitution is difficult is as important as saying “how” things will be paid.

    I’m leaving it here.


  32. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Matt P, you are hung up on semantics, not on why helping low income children access preschool is one of the best investments the public can make. Why should low-income students be allowed to fall behind simply because they are poor.

    You want to call it low-income pre-k? Fine. You can call it ghetto grade school as long as it helps poor kids get ready for school just like other kids do.

    Tomato, tomaaato.


  33. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:29 pm:

    OW. Fair enough.

    Remember i was duped into voting for Rauner because i believed he was a fiscal conservative. Never again.

    What i dont want to do is vote for a Dem candidate that ends up sticking the bill to the WPAMC (new acronym). Currently none of the big 4 has done snything to put my mind at ease.


  34. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    ==Let’s see. Single payer.==

    There was like, a whole dust-up over the fact that that’s *not* in Pritzker’s plan.


  35. - City Zen - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    We finally found our POC for vouchers: pre-school.


  36. - Matt P. - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 2:47 pm:

    47th–

    Yes, I’m hung up on semantics.

    Semantics that lead middle class voters to believe they will receive additional services.

    But they won’t receives anything.


  37. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    Matt P, we have tax deductions for child care expenses. How much help do you need? Pritzker is talking about raising eligibility way beyond the federal poverty line. Depending on your income and family size, you might qualify.


  38. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    It’s not too early to get serious, so this is a good thing. but, the money question gets asked because he purports to be specific. Kennedy is going at broad themes to show his direction. So I guess JB…spending his whole life doing that (yeah, right)….feels the need to prove. what has JB actually done besides donate money to this issue?


  39. - Matt P. - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    47th–

    The only thing I’m asking for is an accurate program name.

    It’s not universal.


  40. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 7:38 pm:

    Folks. Any foRM of medicaid expansion equals another 10% pickup by the state. All i ask for is were IS the money coming from. WPAMC?


  41. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 8:22 pm:

    ==Spend spend spend…==

    When it comes to early childhood interventions you can pay me now or you can pay me later.


  42. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Aug 9, 17 @ 8:24 pm:

    Like waste fraud abuse? wpamc will pick up the tab til then. After that, big tax cut?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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