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McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows Celebrate Holidays and Early Childhood Leadership!

Celebrating the holidays with McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows at the Early Childhood Leadership Academy's recent holiday party. It was once again so inspiring to spend time and talk about the importance of early childhood education last week with other fellows at the Erikson institute. Many of these women and men are lifelong early childhood educato...

Early Childhood Investments Pay Off -McCormick Foundation Fellowship in Early Childhood Policy Learnings

Let's Be Honest (Part 2): Early Investments in Kids Pay Off Big, So We Must Invest This year I have had the great privilege to be part of the inaugural cohort of the McCormick Foundation's Executive Fellowship in Early Childhood Policy. I am one of 32 Fellows from the education, legislative, judicial and nonprofit sectors brought together by the Erikson...

TBH (To Be Honest) The Real Reason Illinois Can't Properly Fund Vital Services

It’s been over a week since I wrote a blog entry, and wanted to make up for lost time with coverage of the most significant issue we face as communities and as a state – our current financial crisis. This crisis has gotten significantly worse since Governor Rauner took office and held resources hostage to forward his political agenda. But it c...

Special Education and Access to Mental Health Services Top of Mind This Week -

I've been struck by the number of parents of special needs students and special education educators I have spoken to over the past week while knocking on doors. District 65 has embraced inclusion since before I was elected to the school board. In fact, my concerns about our proper resourcing of the implementation of this program were one of the reasons I ra...

Conceal Carry - Things that make you go hmmm?

In 2013, Illinois passed a conceal carry law which superseded previous local laws prohibiting handguns in various communities in District 17. I was on the District 65 Policy Committee at the time we were required to adopt policy associated with the new law which included the following components. I had real trouble with these in terms of their practic...

SB1947 - Thinks that make you go hmmm!

Let me start by saying that SB1947 was absolutely necessary and is a step forward for increased equity of funding across the state. With revisions to include a hold harmless and commitment (although not allocated guarantee) of $350M in additional state funding to education, it does represent progress. And, yet... I was told by a policymaker yesterday that ...