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Lightford, Bush education laws signed by governor

Bush-LightfordLegislation sponsored by Senator Kimberly Lightford to fund early childhood education and by Senator Melinda Bush to provide teachers incentives for continued training were signed into law Wednesday by the governor.

Sen. Lightford’s House Bill 4440 increases early childhood program funds from 11 to 14 percent in FY2015 and will increase to 20 percent by FY2016 for children ages 0 to 3. Research shows key skills and learning abilities are gained at this age so ISBE grant programs to help develop young learners pay off. The measure takes effect July 1 of this year. Read more about HB4440 here.


"Children who start learning early are more likely to succeed in school, go on to own homes, have successful marriages and avoid getting arrested,” Sen. Lightford said. “We need to make sure all children get the attention they need when they need it."

House Bill 5393, Sen. Bush’s legislation signed this week, encourages teachers to continue their own education by easing requirements for a $1500 annual incentive for achieving their Illinois Master Teacher certification. Better teachers help produce better students and the certification meets the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Teachers in low-performing schools or in districts with high poverty will have priority for the incentives. This measure also takes effect July 1.

“Quality teachers are key to student education,” Senator Bush said. “This both incentivizes and rewards teachers for getting their Masters’ certification.” 

From early education to higher education, Illinois Senate Democrats continue to pursue and advocate for better funding, facilities and results for students at every stage of learning. 

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