Pat Quinn’s Budget Jeopardizes 24-Hour Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Care, After School, Special Ed for 17,000 Troubled Teens

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes additional $4.1 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers will undermine care and after school programs for at least 17,000 children, according to advocates today who appeared at an Illinois Senate panel hearing.

“Governor Pat Quinn last month delivered a brief but dismal budget message,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “And that message said the state will once again slash care to more than 17,000 troubled Illinois teenagers.”

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget under the Illinois Department of Human Services, headed by Secretary Michelle Saddler, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10% this year and 20% in the last two state budgets.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts totaling 30%,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Berglind made her comments as the Illinois State Senate Humans Services Appropriations Committee today took budget testimony at its hearing from youth service advocates.  Senate Committee members include: Chairman Donne Trotter (D), Jeff Schoenberg (D), Jacqueline Collins (D), William Delgado (D), Mattie Hunter (D), Mike Jacobs (D), Emil Jones, III (D), Matt Murphy (R), Pamela Althoff (R), Tim Bivins (R), Chris Lauzen (R), Dave Syverson (R).

Additionally, Berglind noted that Illinois Department of Human Services officials said that 4,200 children would lose care due to Quinn’s cuts to Mental Health Community Based services.

“Eliminating mental health care for 4,200 children will likely doom their academic performance,” said Berglind.

Finally, Berglind noted that the state special education budget took a huge hit of almost $67 million in Quinn’s budget. In the budget, the Regular Orphanage Act line is down 25.44%, the Special Ed Orphanage Act line is down 32.13% and the Private Tuition Line is down 13.78%.

“State support for special education is down, down, down the drain,” said Berglind.

“We urge the General Assembly to develop a budget that reverses the massive cuts to care, after school, and special education programs for troubled youth,” said Berglind.

Explore posts in the same categories: DHS, Illinois Youth Services, Uncategorized

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