Governor Ryan Names Task Force to Examine Universal Pre-School Access
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2001
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,
Chinese American Service League
Linda Renee Baker,
Secretary, Department of Human Services
President, Erikson Institute
President, Illinois Education Association
Director, Rockford Head Start
State Representative Monique Davis
Superintendent, Elgin District 46
Director, Department of Public Aid
Southern Illinois University
Dean of Education, St. Xavier University
Director of Policy, Governor's Office
Rose Mary Lipinski,
Attorney at Law
Dr. Hazel Loucks,
Deputy Governor for Education
State Senator Lisa Madigan
Executive Director, El Hogar del Nino
Director, Department of Children and Family Services
Director, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
Glenn "Max" McGee,
Superintendent of Education, Illinois State Board of Education
President, The Ounce of Prevention Fund
Chief of Police, Elmhurst
State Representative Jerry Mitchell
President, Illinois Assoc. of Early Childhood Teacher Educators
Sister Catherine Mary Norris,
Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul Center
Illinois Family Institute
George Ranney Jr.,
President/CEO Metropolis 2020
Director, Bureau of the Budget
President, Voices for Illinois Children
State Senator Frank Watson,
Early Childhood Director, Peoria Public Schools
El Valor Children's Center