Sorry that this new Chicago Commons blog is full of tales of woe… but it reflects the fact that our country is going through a time of re-prioritization.
On a more positive note, I actually believe it can be a good thing to reconsider one’s priorities… what is truly most important? Potentially, the current budget mess could really help lead to an understanding about what state government does that we value.
One role I think we should value is the state’s role in funding an effective education system for all children. Children are the future, and they are going to have to do a lot of innovating to create the economic growth necessary to pay all the bills we are racking up today!
So, it is truly frustrating to see early education get whacked this year.
Click here for an article on the $125 million cut to early childhood education. Next week we will learn exactly how this affects Commons and it may force painful sacrifices to our early childhood program and our commitment to quality.
Former Commons Board Member, Jesse Ruiz, now serves as Chair of the Board of Education. He had the impossible choice… which children to cut? Early childhood education was singled out for the biggest cuts mainly because the other education dollars leverage federal matching funds, but Pre-K funding does not. So, Jesse and the Board of Education made the right fiscal decision.
The real issue is that Governor Quinn and the Board of Education were hung out to dry by the State Legislature. That is where leadership is absent.