Castro announces educator support grant for Hoffman Estates High School

Published: Thursday, July 23, 2020 04:52 PM

young teacher2 072320ELGIN –Gov. Pritzker announced new grants Thursday for state high schools to help recruit new educators. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is pleased to announce that Hoffman Estates High School will be receiving some of those funds.

“I’m thrilled to see that Hoffman Estates High School will receiving a grant to help recruit and support a diverse faculty of teachers to help educate our students,” Castro said. “One of the most important things we can do as a society is provide a quality education for our youth. This grant will help Hoffman Estates High Schools and other school districts in the area and in the state recruit the best and brightest educators to help build a better future.”

Programs supported by this grant through the Illinois State Board of Education will emphasize recruiting underrepresented students into education careers to help meet the high demand for teachers of color across Illinois.

Hoffman Estates High School will receive a portion of a nearly $250,000 grant made to North Suburban high schools under the program, administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. For a full list of grant recipients or for more information, visit

Castro encourages small businesses to make use of Paycheck Protection Program

Published: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 04:59 PM

paycheck 042820ELGIN – Since small businesses have taken some of the heaviest financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is encouraging small business owners to take advantage of the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

“The Paycheck Protection was established by Congress in order to help small businesses out in situations exactly like this one,” Castro said. “If you’re a struggling business owner, it’s important to realize that there is help available to get you through this crisis, and you should make use of it.”

Paycheck Protection Program loans were established by the Department of Treasury as a way to help businesses that are having difficulty paying their employees. The loans have a 1%interest rate, and can be forgiven in full if used entirely for the purpose of covering payroll costs, rent, utilities or mortgage interest.

“PPP loans have two important purposes: to ensure that small businesses can keep their doors open in times of hardship, and to prevent employees of those businesses from losing their jobs,” Castro said.

A PPP loan can be up to $10 million per businesses and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. Applications are due by Aug. 8 and can be filled out here.

Castro urges those working to heal communities from COVID-19 to apply for new grants

Published: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:12 AM

castro 071520ELGIN – The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced new funding to provide grants for organizations providing support and relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is encouraging organizations to submit applications.

“Communities of color have suffered the worst from the coronavirus, not just in terms of number of cases, but also when it comes to the amount of resources available to help them recover,” Castro said. “There are many great organizations out there doing amazing work, and I would encourage them to apply for an ICJIA grant so they can keep it up.”

The ICJIA grants are part of federal funding for supporting communities that have faced the hardest challenges from the coronavirus, allocated by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program. Uses for the grants include housing assistance; support services like mental health services and legal aid; rent, utilities or other expenses by local community organizations; and the distribution of food. The funds can also be used for any other need that is related to the pandemic.

“These organizations are vital to community recovery, and I’m glad there is a way for them to get some extra help if they need it,” Castro said.

Additional information and a link to the application – which is due by July 24 – can be found here.

Castro vows action on maternal mortality crisis

Published: Friday, July 10, 2020 04:34 PM

Senator CastroELGIN – In the height of the coronavirus pandemic and global protests against systemic racism, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) said a recent news story about the death of Sha-Asia Washington, a 26-year old Black mother who died during an emergency C-section, shows the importance of not being distracted from other crises that vulnerable communities are still facing.

“My heart goes out to Sha-Asia Washington, her now motherless daughter Khloe, their families, and to anyone else who has ever suffered the unimaginable tragedy of losing a mother due to complications from pregnancy,” Castro said. “Their tragedy is the latest in a long history of them. We must act now to fight the systemic inequalities that cause the terrible infant and maternal mortality among women of color in America.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, Black mothers die from pregnancy related causes at a rate two to three times higher than white mothers. In cities like New York, where Sha-Asia Washington died, Black mothers die at a rate 12 times higher.

“This is a reminder that in the 21st Century, with all of our modern medicine, Black and brown mothers are dying during childbirth at a higher rate than white women, just as they are more likely to die in virtually every other situation, from interactions with police to COVID-19 infection,” Castro said. “We need to protect women of color. We need to do better.”

In the spring of 2019, Castro sponsored legislation in the Senate addressing the issue of maternal mortality. The bill contained insurance coverage expansions, post-partum follow up procedures, and added emphasis to high-risk mothers and babies. Though it passed the Senate, it stalled in the House. Castro intends to refile the language of the original bill as an amendment to Senate Bill 3024.

“My original bill addressing these issues passed through the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, so it’s clear that the desire to fix these problem is there,” Castro said. “It is imperative that when the legislature returns to Springfield, we work to provide the long-overdue answers to this crisis once and for all by passing Senate Bill 3024.”

The amendment has not yet been filed.

Sen. Cristina Castro

Senator Cristina Castro

22nd Senate District

Years served: 2017 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Commerce and Economic Development; Energy and Public Utilities; Labor; Revenue (Chairperson); Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Vice-Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions (Chairperson); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Associated Representative(s):
Anna Moeller
Fred Crespo