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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2000

Governor Ryan Proclaims Teacher Recognition Day

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he has proclaimed Wednesday, November 15 as "Teacher Recognition Day" in Illinois.

In a presentation to Illinois Education Association President, Anne Davis and several Springfield teachers, Governor Ryan reinforced his campaign promise to give teachers the tools they need to do their jobs well and to support their professional needs throughout their careers.

"These dedicated professionals have a very tough job," Ryan said. "They are charged with educating our children and preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century. Teachers deserve our heartfelt thanks, and I believe the best way to honor and thank the teaching profession is by supporting our teachers and providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs well."

Governor Ryan has allocated $56 million in the state budget to hire 10,000 new teachers over four years. Ryan also earmarked record funding levels to help teachers upgrade their skills. Ryan's FY01 budget includes $1.075 million to encourage teachers to pursue their Master Certificate - up from $75,000 in FY99. As a result, the number of Master Certificate applicants has increased nearly six-fold. In all, FY01 budget provided $8.4 billion in education funding --- a $462 million increase -- the largest education increase ever proposed in Illinois without a tax increase required to pay for it.

In his first two years in office, Governor Ryan's administration has increased education spending by $1 billion dollars. That translates to an average of more than $358 more per student, or $6,800 more per classroom statewide.

"Educating our children and preparing our workforce for the New Economy continues to be my number one budget and administrative priority," Ryan said.


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