FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1/20/2010
Robert Reed 312-814-3158
Marlena Jentz 312-814-3158
Marcelyn Love, DCEO 217-558-1542

 Governor Quinn Announces $3.5 Million Capital Grant for Erie Elementary Charter School

Grant to Purchase New Facility; Add Three Grade Levels

CHICAGO � January 20, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced $3.5 million in capital funding to assist Erie Elementary Charter School (EECS) in Chicago in purchasing a new facility, which will allow the school to add the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels.

�This investment will help ensure the children at Erie Elementary have access to the quality educational facilities they deserve,� said Governor Quinn. �A top-notch education for all Illinois students is our foremost priority.�

The state�s grant will help EECS purchase property at 1405 N. Washtenaw in Chicago, formerly owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

�We want to thank the State of Illinois for its support of this project,� said Celena Roldan, executive director of Erie Neighborhood House. �Our mission is to empower students to successfully and productively engage in the local community and broader society. This funding will allow Erie to continue to provide these vital services to the children of this community for many years to come.�

EECS was founded in 2005 as a part of Mayor Daley�s Renaissance 2010, an initiative to create 100 new schools in the City of Chicago, with the goal of providing high-quality public education and providing parents with more options for educating their children.

            The announcement comes just one day after the Quinn Administration and the Illinois State Board of Education submitted the state�s �Race to the Top� application to the U.S. Department of Education (USED), seeking $510 million to fund innovative approaches to education in Illinois. �Race to the Top� is a $4.35 billion competitive federal grant program.

The funding for EECS is a part of Illinois Jobs Now!, a job generation and capital improvement program that will revive the state�s ailing economy by creating and retaining over 439,000 jobs over six years.