Gov. Pritzker visits Black Hawk College to highlight investments in education
MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker spoke at Black Hawk College Tuesday to talk about investments in education that are a part of the state budget.
Pritzker highlighted the extra $100 million investment into MAP grant funding, which he says will help low-income students be able to go to college.
One Black Hawk College graduate, Lauren Rogan, said MAP grants allowed her to put her education first by eliminating the fear of costs.
“As someone who lived paycheck to paycheck, I wanted my education to increase my career opportunities but was concerned about ending up with debt that would make everything harder,” Rogan said. “During the first few months of school, I was working a full-time job and going to school full-time. I received a MAP grant and I was able to take a part-time job at the school and focus on my studies.”
The fiscal year 24 budget also expanded funding for AIM High merit-based scholarships by $15 million.
Pritzker also made a stop in Freeport at Blackhawk Elementary School where he highlighted early education.
“This year’s budget not only delivers the $250 million Smart Start program. It also increases K-12 education funding by almost $550 million, and begins a three-year nearly $150 million pilot program to fill teacher vacancies, plus makes additional investments in scholarships for future teachers.,” Pritzker said.
In the fiscal year 24 budget, the Smart Start Illinois plan will also go to creating 5,000 new preschool seats, expanding home visiting programs, and strengthening the teacher pipeline. The plan also invests in eliminating preschool deserts, stabilizing the childcare workforce, expanding early intervention, and home visiting programs, and includes funding to begin the overhaul of the childcare payment management system.
$1.6 million will be included in the budget to launch Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library statewide, which includes a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter a family’s income.
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