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ILLINOIS NEWS
The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2001

Governor Ryan Names Task Force to Examine Universal Pre-School Access

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed an executive order establishing a task force to develop a plan for voluntary universal preschool access in Illinois.

The Task Force on Universal Access to Pre-School will have the responsibility of creating a five-year blueprint for achieving the goal of quality early childhood education opportunities for all three-to-five year-olds whose parents or guardians want them to participate. The Task Force is comprised of 33 members who are active and knowledgeable about early child development, child welfare and education. They will submit their plan to the Governor and the General Assembly by January 1, 2002.

Establishing the task force was the number one recommendation from the early care and education assembly that convened last September by First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan as part of the state's Futures for Kids Initiative.

Futures for Kids was developed by Governor and Mrs. Ryan as a statewide resource to coordinate programs and policies related to health, safety and education of infants, children and teenagers. Mrs. Ryan serves as Chair of Futures for Kids and also will chair the Task Force on Universal Access to Pre-School.

"My administration is constantly looking for ways to improve the health and well-being of our children," Governor Ryan said. "Research has shown that at least two years of quality early education improves the chances of school success and decreases risk of delinquency and crime. We want to develop a plan that will give all of our children every advantage in life."

A list of Task Force members is listed below.

TASK FORCE ON UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO PRE-SCHOOL

First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan,
Chair

Brenda Arksey,
Chinese American Service League

Linda Renee Baker,
Secretary, Department of Human Services

Barbara Bowman,
President, Erikson Institute

Ann Davis,
President, Illinois Education Association

George Davis,
Director, Rockford Head Start

State Representative Monique Davis
(D-27th, Chicago)

Marvin Edwards,
Superintendent, Elgin District 46

Jackie Garner,
Director, Department of Public Aid

Barbara Grace,
Southern Illinois University

Bev Gully,
Dean of Education, St. Xavier University

Bridget Lamont,
Director of Policy, Governor's Office

Rose Mary Lipinski,
Attorney at Law

Dr. Hazel Loucks,
Deputy Governor for Education

State Senator Lisa Madigan
(D-17th, Chicago)

Jane Garza-Mancillas,
Executive Director, El Hogar del Nino

Jess McDonald,
Director, Department of Children and Family Services

Pam McDonough,
Director, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs

Glenn "Max" McGee,
Superintendent of Education, Illinois State Board of Education

Harriet Meyer,
President, The Ounce of Prevention Fund

John Millner,
Chief of Police, Elmhurst

State Representative Jerry Mitchell
(R-73rd, Sterling)

Susie Nall,
President, Illinois Assoc. of Early Childhood Teacher Educators

Sister Catherine Mary Norris,
Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul Center

Virginia Nurmi,
Illinois Family Institute

Jim Palos,
Project Impact

George Ranney Jr.,
President/CEO Metropolis 2020

Steve Schnorf,
Director, Bureau of the Budget

Kathy Selcke,
Parent

Jerry Stermer,
President, Voices for Illinois Children

State Senator Frank Watson,
(R-55th, Greenville)

Maxine Wortham,
Early Childhood Director, Peoria Public Schools

Martha Zurita,
El Valor Children's Center


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