Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: February 11 – February 17, 2023

Gov. J.B. Pritzker renews pre-K expansion push with 2024 budget proposing $250 million increase

By Samantha Smylie for Chalkbeat

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker promised in 2019 to bring universal preschool to all Illinois children after being elected. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Today, he’s picking up where he left off with a budget proposal that adds $250 million to early childhood programs.  “I would have done it in year one if the dollars had been available to do it,” Pritzker said Tuesday in a briefing with reporters. He said enhancing early childhood care and education is a “win-win” that will remobilize the workforce and boost the state’s economy “now and in the decades ahead.”


Gov. Pritzker wants to increase Illinois education funding by 6.2% in 2024

By Samantha Smylie for Chalkbeat

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker today revealed his 2024 budget proposal — laying out a vision for a second term in office that includes ambitious funding plans for early childhood education and higher education. Pritzker wants to increase the state’s funding for pre-K-12 education by 6.2% next year. His overall 2024 proposal would boost the state’s operating budget to $49.6 billion, an 11% increase over last year.  Throughout his first term in office, Pritzker said, he worked to balance the state’s budget and increase the state revenue — even when COVID-19 shook the state’s economy. With the state in a better financial position, Pritzker is recommending an increase in funding for early childhood education and child care programs.”


Gov. J.B. Pritzker stresses education in $49.6 billion budget proposal while blasting a ‘virulent strain of nationalism’ in national schools debate

By Dan Petrella, Jeremy Gorner and Rick Pearson for The Chicago Tribune

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker stressed additional funding for education in his $49.6 billion budget proposal Wednesday while also using the occasion to blast “a virulent strain of nationalism” that he said has infected the national debate over school curricula and the content of library shelves. “There is a virulent strain of nationalism plaguing our nation, led by demagogues who are pushing censorship, with a particular attack right now on school board members and library trustees,” Pritzker said.”