GUEST COLUMN: State must provide equal access, quality

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From birth to career, Illinois students deserve an equitable and adequate education system.

COVID-19 has upended the lives and education of children and young people throughout Illinois. As we enter 2021, we will need new ways of thinking and working to ensure our state’s education system emerges from the pandemic able to serve kids better and more equitably.

As a first step, state funding and policies must extend beyond traditional silos — preschool, K-12 and higher education — and instead address our educational system as a single, interconnected journey that provides equitably and adequately for our students at every step.

All children and youth in Illinois deserve a high-quality education regardless of their race/ethnicity, ZIP code or family income. We know quality experiences, from birth through college, make a dramatic difference in one’s success in school, career and life. Beyond this, a well-educated citizenry and workforce is vital for Illinois’ economy, now more than ever.

Illinois has made significant strides in recent years in funding education. In K-12, the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act (EBF) has made Illinois a national leader. The new formula equitably distributes new state dollars each year, prioritizing the state’s most underfunded school districts. In early childhood education and care, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Early Childhood Funding Commission is poised to release recommendations that promise to illuminate a path to a more coordinated and equitable system of funding and governance.

Columns,Region: Decatur,City: Decatur,Opinion,Region: Central

via herald-review.com – RSS Results in opinion/columnists of type article https://ift.tt/2K2QuZ3

January 29, 2021 at 11:46PM

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