Jonesboro Pre-K program suspended - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Jonesboro Pre-K program suspended

Posted: Updated:

JONESBORO, Ill. -- Dozens of Pre-K students may have to find a new school to attend this fall after the Jonesboro Elementary School District lost a grant that helped fund the program.

Dozens of schools around Illinois lost funding from the Early Childhood Block Grant, including schools in Southern Illinois like Jonesboro and Cobden Elementary.

"Without a pre-k program temporarily, it leaves us in chaos," said Dr. Keith Reinhardt, superintendent of Jonesboro Community Consolidated School District #43. "We've done everything we can to try to work with the legislators and work with the state board and go through the process to appeal and have our funding restored."

Now, Dr. Reinhardt and others are working to restore the funding. He recently drove up to the Illinois State Board of Education office in Springfield to deliver an appeal letter expressing concern.

Jonesboro Elementary received a score of 58 on their "Preschool For All" evaluation, 2 points short of 60 which would make them eligible to receive the funding. 

"We have to reassign teachers and the community is without preschool at this time," Dr. Reinhardt said. "We didn't shut the program down, we just suspended it until we know the outcome of this appeal."

He raised concerns about the evaluation process, "The deviation between scores are all over the place."

He said he couldn't understand why his school, which he says serves 57 percent low income students, didn't qualify for a "high needs priority boost."

So, we reached out to the Illinois State Board of Education and they told us 10 extra points were given out on the basis of the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map, which considers factors like demographics and existing services in the area.

"This is an issue the State Board of Education cares deeply about, about the quality of services children are receiving in their early years, so while we didn't have enough funding to meet the needs of all of the programs and communities that applied for this grant this year, this is far from the end of the story," said Jackie Matthews, Illinois State Board of Education Director of Media and External Communications Jackie Matthews.

She said she could not comment on the status of the appeals. 

"This also raises the question of whether or not these services and these programs should be funded through a competitive grant or should it be something that's more formula based," Matthews said.

Meantime, Dr. Reinhardt hopes for the best with the outcome of the appeal.

"Our hope is and our desire is to have the pre-school program but we do need the funding to make it function," Dr. Reinhardt said.

Dr. Reinhardt said he should hear back by the end of August on how the Illinois State Board of Education will respond to his appeal. Without the funding, they'll have to find new ways to fund their pre-school program or send their students to others schools and programs in the area.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • McLeansboro scammer turns himself in

    McLeansboro scammer turns himself in

    Thursday, September 20 2018 9:30 AM EDT2018-09-20 13:30:04 GMT

    MCLEANSBORO, Ill. -- A man suspected of scamming a woman out of more than a thousand dollars has turned himself in to police.

    MCLEANSBORO, Ill. -- A man suspected of scamming a woman out of more than a thousand dollars has turned himself in to police.

  • BBQ lovers unite at Praise The Lard Cook-Off

    BBQ lovers unite at Praise The Lard Cook-Off

    Thursday, September 20 2018 9:17 AM EDT2018-09-20 13:17:47 GMT

    MURPHYSBORO -- More than 85 teams from around the nation to compete at 31st Annual Praise The Lard Cook-Off. 

    MURPHYSBORO -- More than 85 teams from around the nation to compete at 31st Annual Praise The Lard Cook-Off. 

  • Illinois disaster relief volunteers head to East Coast

    Illinois disaster relief volunteers head to East Coast

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 11:42 PM EDT2018-09-20 03:42:43 GMT

    WSIL -- The first disaster relief volunteers with the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA) are on their way to Lumberton, North Carolina. The Illinois crews come from a trained pool of about 1,700 volunteers and are a part of the larger Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, which is the country's largest aid organization next to the Red Cross and Salvation Army.  

    WSIL -- The first disaster relief volunteers with the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA) are on their way to Lumberton, North Carolina. The Illinois crews come from a trained pool of about 1,700 volunteers and are a part of the larger Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, which is the country's largest aid organization next to the Red Cross and Salvation Army.  

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Slideshows
loading...
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WSIL. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.