A Stronger Illinois for Web-23
Creating a brighter future through ‘A Stronger Illinois’

We are a stronger Illinois when we invest in strong families, communities, and local economies. By highlighting the stories of real Illinoisans, a new series of reports from the Fiscal Policy Center shows that our state creates a brighter future when we make critical public investments. The series also estimates how programs and the communities they serve would be impacted by the pending loss of billions of dollars in revenue.

It All Adds Up Featured
It All Adds Up: Early Math Initiatives in Illinois

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.

Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach

Breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty requires a coordinated set of efforts that address the needs of the whole family, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s new KIDS COUNT® report, Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach. A “two-generation” approach seeks to create opportunities for low-income families by simultaneously equipping parents and kids with the tools they need to thrive while removing the obstacles in their way.

Issues In Focus

Statement from Voices’ President: Governor Rauner’s Call to Invest in Next Generation Requires Revenue

Read President Gaylord Gieseke’s statement on Voices’ eagerness to work with Governor Rauner to address the state’s budget challenges in a way that supports — rather than undermines — critical areas such as education, child care, health, and public safety.

Op-Ed: Governor Rauner’s vow to spend more on education threatens other priorities

In this Op-Ed, Policy Advocacy Director Emily Miller explains the costs of budgetary choices in a context of declining revenue: more money for education (as Governor Rauner has pledged) taken from a smaller pot of money equals cuts to other programs and services that also help secure the future of Illinois children, families and communities.

Higher Minimum Wage Would Help 1 in 5 Illinois Kids, Boost State Economy
1 in 5 Illinois kids benefit

Raising the state minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour would benefit an estimated 1.1 million Illinois workers and nearly one in five Illinois children (about 583,000). And new research indicates that these clear benefits to low-wage workers come with little discernible effect on employment.

Preschool for Some? A Closer Look at Disparities in Access to Preschool in Illinois
Casey PreK e-Alert Image small

A new report and accompanying issue brief from Voices examines existing preschool opportunities and outstanding needs in Illinois, highlighting areas for improvement to reduce disparities related to family income, race-ethnicity, and geographic area within the state.