Oak Park schools to commit $240K to Early Childhood initiative

Funding will go toward development of supportive care system

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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

District 97 is poised to commit roughly a quarter of a million dollars to help start up the Collaboration for Early Childhood's broad initiative to reach at-risk kids.

The Collaboration is working with and seeking support from various Oak Park taxing bodies. By 2016, the group hopes to have an integrated, early childhood care support system fully implemented for Oak Park and River Forest. The Village of Oak Park has committed about $115,000 in start-up money for the effort. D97 plans to commit $248,000. Members of the Collaboration estimate that a fully implemented system will cost roughly $1.5 million. The group is continuing to seek public and private funding for the effort.

D97 school trustees and Collaboration members discussed the initiative Tuesday at D97's regular board meeting. The Oak Park elementary school district is set to approve funding at its Jan. 22, meeting.

Wednesday Journal will have additional coverage in next week's paper

Contact:
Email: tdean@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

13 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Feeling Like a Fool from Oak Park  

Posted: January 11th, 2013 4:54 PM

First we got congratulatory stories and Villager of the Year hype, then the facts on the pricetag dribble out after the deal is done. A very slick PR effort. Does anyone else feel manipulated? I'd love to donate money to children's causes, but my duty is to my own children, and I don't know how I will afford to send them to college at this point. I work an honorable but low paying job. Who will help us? Please, OP, stop taking $ out of my family's pockets. At the least, be transparent.

Unfortunately 2  

Posted: January 11th, 2013 1:29 PM

I own residential properties in OP/RF. Parents move to OP/RF for their kids to go to the high school. They come from Austin. I am happy that they want to improve their child's future. Unfortunately, it is usually too late and the kids they were trying to help become the problem kids at the High School. Give this money to the Austin area primary schools, it might have more of an impact.

Unfortunately  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 5:39 PM

Wait, I forgot about the PKP programs in D97 when I was commenting on the figures used by OPRF to justify their mega-reserves being held for their projection of large enrollment increases for themselves. The inclusion of the PKP kids then strongly suggests that D97 enrollment increases are NOT sufficient to support their PAID consultant's future projection for OPRF. I kindly request that some of the D200 candidates review that "study." For, if not valid....OPRF has less of a reason for gouging.

GIve a mouse from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 4:03 PM

According to the presentation included in the D97 board package this is to address the needs of 800 children under 6. D97 share for first year is $248K, then a % of the budget each year after (they stress, less than 1%!) 1% = $831k!! And other taxing bodies are on the hook as well. What is the annual total this group is seeking each year?? And why are they discussing automatic increases tied to property tax formula. Who are they??? Oh right, Oak Parker of the year.

GIve a mouse a cookie.... from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 3:36 PM

Yes Longfellow has PKP as do MANY other programs in the area. ISBE for years, and the recent pre-school for all initiative, deliver state education funding for at risk youth and families (maternal age, income, birth weight, etc) already. But Ms. Song et al, high on their referendum visit to the trough, can't resist achieving more of their do good agenda with the fruits of our labor. Despite evidence that very little long term good is done. Tax payer abuse by bad leadership. Must be Oak Park

enough already  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 2:15 PM

is this where the referendum monies are going? my understanding is d97 funds are for d97.

Hot Male from Oak Park  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 12:44 PM

What happened to Longfellow's PKP? That filled the same shoes except DeeDee Farmer got to pick and choose who got in.

OPRFDad  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 11:45 AM

Why is it OP's job to address personal issues that result in an achievement gap? Yes, it stinks that people do a lousy job raising their kids, but the kids are their responsibility, not ours. Take care of your own mess. All this handholding and paternalism does is foster the behavior.

OPRF Achievement Gap  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 8:58 AM

This COULD be a good start to the Gap issue. All depends on how it will be admistered and the needed Metrics - yes to change we must measure. The Gap is not the problem of OPRF. It must be tackled Early - but the houses of faith must also be involved. I like the effort here. Yes, it is a lot of money now - but could be cheap compared to a bunch of kids who enter HS and can not read.

OPRFDad  

Posted: January 10th, 2013 8:52 AM

Are they anticipating grade school kids bringing their babies to school?

Larry Skiver from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 9th, 2013 4:19 PM

Typical Lib from Oak Park- You want it,then you pay for it!!! The village already has enough of my money.

Typical Lib from Oak Park  

Posted: January 9th, 2013 2:29 PM

But if you oppose higher taxes, that means you hate kids and teachers and you're probably a Republican too!

Concerned taxpayer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 9th, 2013 2:22 PM

I hope that the D97 are giving this money through taxes they have and not expecting more taxes at the end of the year from us the taxpayer to fund this new initiative.

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