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Syrian military moves in as the U.S. moves out; and Colorado looks at Public Option health plans. Plus, Indigenous Peoples Day.

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Tonight, 12 candidates will take the fourth Democratic debate stage in Westerville, Ohio. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will be there, despite considering a boycott of the event.

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Illinois Risks 20 Million in Federal Funding for Adult Education

July 28, 2009

CHICAGO - It may be tough to find a place to learn computer skills or get help getting a GED in the fall, because a
hole in the new state budget has left Illinois at risk of losing 20 million dollars in federal matching funds for adult education. The federal money, from the Workforce Investment Act, requires programs to be funded at the same level as last year. The adult education budget has in fact been cut, but Governor Pat Quinn says he plans to use discretionary money that he borrowed to make sure that federal matching money is not lost.

Lisa Thakkar, the New American Policy Coordinator with the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights, says it would not be in the state's best interest to wind up with an under-educated workforce.

"We're going to have a workforce that's untrained, that can't meet the needs of business, so Illinois stands to lose many of the employers and businesses that we have in the state."

Thakkar says that nearly two million Illinois residents have no high school diploma and so far it has only been possible to provide GED training for a small percentage of those residents.

Thakkar says that Illinois can't afford to lose workforce training money.

"It definitely would affect how competitive we are in the global market."

The competition is fierce for the discretionary funds. The governor's staff have said the governor is trying to make decisions that serve the most people, and they are promising more information soon.

More information is at www.icirr.org

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - IL