MinookaPrimaryCenter8.28.18 RSSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Education Committee discussed solutions to statewide funding shortages for early childhood education programs this week.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) led the charge last year to establish an evidence-based funding formula to dispense state dollars to public schools more effectively and is ready to take on the issue of early childhood education.

“Our goal is to guarantee all Illinois’ children are given the opportunity to succeed,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “After last year’s effort, we are one step closer to ending education inequalities in our communities by funding schools the right way. The next step is to tackle the way we fund our early childhood programs.”

As a result of this new school funding formula, schools across Illinois received $350 million in additional funding this year while no schools received less funding than a year ago. Public schools across the 49th State Senate District received more than $22 million in new money for the 2018-2019 school year.

“This hearing reiterated the necessity to revamp the way we currently fund early childhood programs in Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The current grant process is pitting schools against each other instead of promoting opportunities for all of our children.”

Dr. Kris Monn, Superintendent of Minooka Elementary School District 201, helped paint a clear picture on the difficulties local schools face due to uncalculated changes made to the competitive grant process.  

The Minooka School District routinely qualified for the early childhood funding grant in the past but was denied this year, requiring the school to self-fund part of the program to ensure children were not removed from their programs.  

“Two years ago this body made a monumental shift in how we fund education,” Monn said.  “Six months ago, we saw that the schools with the best grant writing received state dollars, instead of those who need it the most. There is a flaw in the way we decided to divvy up the dollars for preschools. I urge members of the General Assembly to push for a preschool funding program that drives dollars to the districts that need it the most.”

As the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Bertino-Tarrant pledges to work to revamp the way state dollars are allocated to early childhood programs during the upcoming legislative session.

JOLIET— Area residents stopped by the Joliet Public Library Thursday to meet with State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) to learn how to take advantage of state constituent services.

Attendees received assistance from Bertino-Tarrant’s staff on veterans and disability issues, health care assistance and other services.

“Our satellite office hours and coffee and conversations allow me to keep a firm pulse on important issues in Will County,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Democracy works best when we address the needs of the people and make sure government is working for them.”

Bertino-Tarrant hopes area residents will take advantage of the casual environment to ask questions and share legislative ideas for the 2019 legislative session. The next monthly coffee and conversation will take place from 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 at the Shorewood-Troy Library.

“My office and I are in the process of preparing legislative initiatives and ideas for the next General Assembly,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Our Shorewood Coffee and Conversation is a good way for area residents to share their ideas and voice their opinions on important issues in our communities and state.”

If you have additional questions regarding coffee and conversation, please contact Bertino-Tarrant’s district office at (815) 254-4211.

Coffee and Conversation                                                                                                                                                        
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 21
Time: 9-10 a.m.
Location: Shorewood-Troy Library (650 Deerwood Drive, Shorewood)

Veterans Breakfast flier webJOLIET— State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is partnering with local representatives to host a Veterans Appreciation Breakfast from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Stone City VFW Post 2199 (124 Stone City Cr., Joliet).

“We cannot thank our veterans enough for their service and sacrifice,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Events like this annual breakfast serve as a way to show our deep appreciation and support for our veterans and their families.”

Bertino-Tarrant is hosting the annual event with State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill), Representatives Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) and Larry Walsh (D-Elwood).
The event is free for veterans and their families.

To ensure proper accommodations, those wishing to attend the breakfast should call Walsh’s office at (815) 730-8600 or email statereplarrywalshjr@gmail.com.

2018 Veterans Breakfast FlyerPLAINFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) will be hosting a Veterans’ Breakfast next month.

The Veterans’ Breakfast will take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Plainfield American Legion, 24741 W. Renwick Road.

“Thanking our veterans remains a priority for me,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Events like this annual breakfast allow us to provide our military personnel with vital information and show our deep appreciation and support.”

Representatives from Honor Flight Chicago, Homes for Heroes, Veterans Commission of Kendall County, Will County Veterans Assistance Commission and the Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau will be in attendance to discuss the services and programs they offer.

The Veterans’ Breakfast will also feature guest speaker Geriann Weisbrook, the Founder of the Military Mama Network. She will discuss the Military Mama Network’s mission and the many resources available for local military families.  

“I look forward to meeting the veterans and thanking them for their service and contributions to our nation,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

Anyone wishing to attend the breakfast should RSVP online or call Bertino-Tarrant’s Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211.

The event is free and open to the public.

Veterans’ Breakfast

Date: Saturday, Oct. 13

Time: 8:30 to 10 a.m.

Location: Plainfield American Legion (24741 W. Renwick Road)

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Springfield, IL 62706 
(217) 782-0052

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