pacione zayasSPRINGFIELD – Responding to a crucial need for hundreds more early childhood educators in the coming years, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) passed a plan out of the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday to provide new college degrees and an easier path to training for those already working in the field.

“This is not just about providing a brighter future for our kids, but also the people who are already working so hard to help them learn and grow,” Pacione-Zayas said. “We know that high quality early care and education is key to helping our children realize their full potential. We need to remove barriers by expanding access and affordability in this field to show support for the workforce that cares and educates our youngest while families work and pursue educational goals.”

Senate Bill 1832 will allow Illinois community colleges the option of applying to the Higher Learning Commission for the ability to confer a Bachelor's of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Colleges could also offer Professional Educator Licenses with early childhood and early childhood special education endorsements. Colleges would also be required to maintain associate-level early childhood education programs.

The legislation sets forth standards that would ensure such programs align with the requirements for four-year institutions. The goal, Pacione-Zayas said, is to expand enrollment statewide, diversify all levels of the early childhood education workforce, and respond to local workforce demands.

Speaking before the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday evening, April Janney, CEO of Illinois Action for Children, said early childhood education providers are experiencing recruitment challenges despite competitive salaries and benefits.

“Early childhood teachers are on the front lines of this pandemic,” Janney said. “This bill will make it easier for them to advance their careers, while it also elevates the quality of learning for children.”

Juan Salgado, chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago system, said the legislation responds to urgent, immediate workforce needs in a field where most employees are women of color.

“This is, at the end of the day, about getting the children in this state the qualified educator they need today, not tomorrow,” Salgado said. “This is what we were designed to do as community colleges. This is the value we bring to, in this case, overwhelmingly … women of color.”

After robust discussion, Senate Bill 1832 passed out of the Senate Higher Education Committee and Senator Pacione-Zayas said she will continue negotiations with stakeholders to ensure a systemic solution.

 

Category: Press Releases

pacione zayas

“This presents us with a chance for transformative change.”

CHICAGO – State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas called on the General Assembly to act on recommendations in the report released last week by the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding and spoke on her own plan to increase education pathways and economic stability for early childhood educators.

“The Early Childhood Funding Commission has made our duties clear,” Pacione-Zayas said Thursday. “For the first time, this report clarifies the vision and investments we need to break down the barriers young children face in reaching their full potential.”

Pacione-Zayas worked with the commission as a member of the BUILD Initiative’s Illinois State Team, specifically focusing on the importance of building up the early childhood system in addressing systemic racism.

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Category: Press Releases

Illinois pleas to skip SATs

State and federal education heads disagree on tests

Illinois Times, April 1, 2021 | Original article

By Madison Angell

pacione zayasThe Illinois Senate has added to the call for the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to waive spring assessments, such as the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), for students, as it did in 2020. State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago, spearheaded a resolution, approved March 17, calling for testing waivers. She said many students have been learning remotely or in a hybrid system for the past year, and expecting them to return to school for in-person testing is unrealistic.

"We all know this is not a typical year," Pacione-Zayas said in a statement. "Let's have some compassion for our students and teachers and allow them to use their limited time in the classroom to learn and recover from the trauma of the pandemic, rather than to take stressful tests."

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Category: News

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Dear friend,

It’s time to begin the once-in-a-decade task of redrawing congressional and state legislative district lines.  

In an effort to gather public input to help us create a plan that reflects the diversity of the state, the Illinois Senate is hosting public hearings — and you’re welcome to watch and provide testimony.

Next week on April 8, the Chicago Northwest Redistricting Subcommittee will host a meeting at 5 p.m.

You may join us online at www.Ilga.gov - click on Audio/Video under the Senate heading to listen or view the hearing. The link appears just before the hearing is set to begin.

If you would like to testify or submit written testimony to the Illinois State Senate Redistricting Committee or any of its subcommittees contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information and a full list of hearings, visit www.ilsenateredistricting.com.

I hope you will take advantage of having your voice heard.

Missed my virtual town hall?

You can watch the video here and view slides from the presentation here.

An internship opportunity for young people

ASPIRA of Illinois is offering 120 paid internship opportunities to youth and young adults age 16-24 for a variety of programs from July 6 to Aug. 13 as part of its annual One Summer Chicago program. Participants work with educators and local business leaders to develop job readiness skills through weekly workshops. ASPIRA will be considering options for in-person or virtual internships. Applications are available now. You can find more information on how to apply here.

If you have any questions, concerns, or opinions about how I can best represent you in Springfield, please reach out to my office via my website at https://senatorpacionezayas.com/contact-us or by calling (773) 278-2020.

In solidarity,

pacione zayas sig2

Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Ph.D.
State Senator, 20th Illinois Senate District

Category: Newsletters

Office Information

Springfield Office:
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
 
District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020

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