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The state of Illinois recently announced the recipients of their annual Pre-K grant, and several area schools received word they will receive that grant this year, and some other schools in the area will not.

One of the schools that has received word they will not be receiving the grant is the Maroa-Forsyth district. After 20 years of receiving the Pre-K grant, this will be the first year the school does not get it. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools Mike Williams, says this is a big hit for the district, mainly because the district already has students enrolled in the program for the 2011-2012 school year. Williams notes despite the program not getting funded, the school district will continue to offer it to the 3 and 4 year olds.

[audio:mfprekgrant1.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

The $95-thousand the program generally received went towards paying the teachers and for supplies for the program. Williams says the program has 2 full time staff members and serves approximately 40 students.

[audio:mfprekgrant2.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

According to Williams, the funding for their Pre-K program is just one of several areas lately to be hit by the state. Williams explains money the district receives from the general state aid fund will not be paid in full, which will eliminate almost $75-thousand dollars the district receives.

[audio:mfprekgrant3.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

The grant is annual grant that in the past has been handed out by the state, and each district had no input into the process of distribution. However, this year the grant was competitive and school's across the state were able to apply for the grant. This year the state tried to focus more on those districts with at risk kids who were in the most need of the grant.

Clinton and Blue Ridge school districts received the grant this year.

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