October 7, 2014Article

Chicago Tribune: Emanuel to Issue Bond Money to Expand Pre-K

by Hal Dardick and Juan Perez Jr.

Local/ Education/ 2014/

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration plans to use an emerging form of financing, one that links payback to lenders on the success of the initiatives being funded, to expand early childhood education programs in Chicago.

The mayor’s office said Tuesday that it will use close to $17 million of what are known as “social impact bonds,” in addition to $4.5 million in state funds and about $10 million in capital improvement money from next year’s budget, to enroll more low-income children in pre-kindergarten over the next four years.

The social impact bond funding would cover the enrollment over four years of about 2,600 children into a half-day Child-Parent Center preschool program. Expected to launch in November, the program would enroll 374 students this year at six schools that now are dealing with a shortage of preschool seats.