Mayor Emanuel announces free pre-K for Chicago kids

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he plans to provide Chicago kids free full-day pre-K.

The announcement is the third in a series of policy changes Emanuel has announced recently. Emanuel made the announcement on Wednesday during an interview at Truman College, where the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Janice Jackson, was also present. 

This new proposal is expected to cost $175 million. Currently, Chicago offers half-day preschool for its residents on a sliding pay scale. Allowing lower-income families to pay nothing, while wealthy families pay upwards of $440 a month. 

Emanuel said the change will be an important one for children from low-income families, as a full-day of preschool will help prepare them for success in grade school and beyond.  “The first group of kids that will get all-day, full-day pre-K, 4-years-old, are children of parents who work, make $45,000 or less, and that will be the first installment,” Emanuel said.

 

If the district is able to get extra money from the state, all 4-year-olds will benefit from all day Pre K by 2021. Meanwhile, CPS will use the money they have to cover the start of the proposal this fall.

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