Elm Leaves Newspaper Articles

There is a new program called Red Robin Royalty that I am asking all our families and friends to sign up for at: https://royalty.redrobin.com/ Please select St William School for the Burgers for Better Schools™ Program. It means that every time you eat at Red Robin, 1% of your check will be donated directly to your school of choice.


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1. The Child Care Assistance Program's "Action For Children": Governor Rauner's budget appears to restore some of the funding with many new twists and restrictions into next Fall.  With the legislature being pushed to pass a bill that makes this year whole (authorizing monies already approved but with no source of funding), our principals with AFC have been extremely active - letters, calls, case studies, visits to legislators.  Losing this funding will negatively impact the bottom line in our highest poverty schools to an estimated aggregate of at least $3M, which flows through parents.  The situation will continue to be monitored as the budget debate continues.  There are already sufficient lobbies (e.g., Ounce of Prevention) and we are connecting leaders and parents to them daily as the next few weeks are critical. ACTION:  If you have AFC and are not one of the active schools above, at a minimum go to www.actforchildren.org and provide your stories and follow their links to contact your legislators. 

 2.  ESEA (Title I, II, and III; "No Child Left Behind') is overdue for re-authorization.  We had excellent data from our OCS survey and from the work of the two pro bono law students from the University of Notre Dame.  The impact of the State and District "set asides" on the federal money generated by our children and given to our schools is stunning:  The Title I private school students in Chicago alone generate almost $9M dollars more than are used to serve them every year. Title II Funds are not shared equitably in most school districts; some lack in consultation completely.  USSCB's Secretariat for Education effectively arranged the congressional visits for seven of us in DC this month.  This is a nationwide issue (the other dioceses had similar horror stories with their local districts) and can only be addressed with the new legislation; a bi-partisan bill is in the works and the appropriate language is currently embedded. [The data I was able to share was courtesy of your hard work and patience - thank you!]

ACTION:  ESEA may come up for a vote as early as tomorrow.  Respond  to the USCCB request.  (Will send again shortly).

 3.  As those of you added as Tier 3 partners, you know there is the increase in ed spending in Rauner's budget.  Sponsors are being sought for the legislation which is currently written only as "policy." In the meantime, we continue to collect logos from individual schools as tier three partners and ask schools to be ready by having an active LAP (Legislative Action Person) to ready grassroots.  All the schools of the diocese of Peoria are now Tier 3 partners. Let me know if  you are meeting resistance; happy to speak to anyone locally.  Some of you will be directly approached again for a logo if your school is in a key legislative district.

 ACTION: Get a lap if you do not have one.  Speak to your community to see if they are willing to be a Tier 3 partner and send the logo to kathryn@choice4kids.org

 4.  Illinois Policy Institute is working on the "district choice" model in Waukegan.  While this is currently in the courts in Colorado, it is a great parallel effort - and the choice of Waukegan is inspired because of its failing public options.  Preston Kendall (Cristo Rey) is on their website and our principal/pastors are open to working with the movement, which will rely heavily on local school board candidate elections.

 ACTION: Simple encourage our friends in Waukegan and continue to pray for conversions!