The Illinois Kids Count 2015 report, “Confronting Poverty, Creating Opportunity,” reveals that more than 600,000 Illinois children live in poverty and that child poverty rates are likely to remain high even as the economy improves. The report also identifies policies that have been effective in alleviating and reducing child poverty. Unfortunately, existing efforts at the state level would be seriously weakened by the Governor’s proposed budget, which includes deep cuts in health care, child care assistance, child protection services, and other areas.
Math is all around us, and research suggests that children understand math concepts even before they can speak. Not only are they “born learning,” but they are also born learning math. A new report from Voices and the CME Group Foundation highlights early math initiatives in Illinois and makes recommendations to expand these initiatives so that every young child has the chance to explore early mathematics.
Illinois’ investments in Medicaid and related health insurance programs have resulted in one of the lowest uninsured rates for children in the nation. Threatened cuts to Medicaid, however, would jeopardize access to health care for low-income children, their families, and vulnerable populations such as the elderly and disabled. With state Medicaid spending per enrollee already the lowest in the Midwest, policymakers should not cut access to health care in an attempt to solve the state’s budget crisis.