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Education Advocacy Group Stand for Children Endorses Fourteen Candidates In Illinois' March Primary

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Stand Supports Senator Kirk Dillard, along with Thirteen Additional Democratic and Republican Candidates Committed to Prioritizing Students before Adults in their Education Policy Decisions

Chicago – March 15, 2012 – During the 2011 Spring legislative session of the Illinois General Assembly, Stand for Children was part of a statewide coalition to support the historic education reform legislation Senate Bill 7. Stand is committed to ensuring the legislation is implemented, and that moving forward, education policies and initiatives ensure every child has access to quality education. To that end, Stand has endorsed Senator Kirk Dillard for State Senate in the 24th district, along with thirteen additional candidates who will be education champions in Springfield.

“Education is the key that unlocks the door to success, but far too many children, through no fault of their own, aren’t getting the education they need to make it in life,” said Mary Anderson, executive director, Stand for Children Illinois. “By electing education advocates committed to prioritizing children before adults in their education policy decisions, we can change the trajectory so all students can graduate from high school prepared for and with access to a college education.”

Anderson went on to say, “Throughout his years in public service, Senator Dillard has consistently advocated for positive changes to bring Illinois schools into the 21st century and help all children obtain the tools they need to live and work in a global economy. We are impressed with Dillard's in-depth knowledge of education issues, genuine commitment to improving outcomes for students and documented roadmap for how we can work together to achieve that vision.”

In identifying candidates to endorse, Stand implemented a comprehensive process to evaluate and select high quality candidates. Specifically, Stand sent questionnaires to every candidate in a contested primary. An internal selection committee formed a set of criteria in which to consider candidates, including past efforts to support education reform initiatives, responses to questionnaire, and voting record on key education reform legislation for incumbents. In races where education was a contested issue, Stand invited each candidate to participate in interviews with members of the internal selection committee.

“After a thorough review of all candidates, we are pleased to announce our second round of endorsements, following February’s first-round announcements,” said Patrick Mogge, chair of the Stand for Children Illinois PAC. “We believe education should be a bi-partisan issue, which is why Stand is supporting both Illinois House and Senate Republicans and Democrats. Dillard has indicated his commitment to implementing SB 7, as well as continuing to fight for what is best for all students.”

Stand’s 2012 primary election endorsements include:

Illinois House
Edward Acevedo (D – 2)*
Adam Brown (R – 102)*
Ken Dunkin (D – 5)*
Jim Durkin (R – 82)*
Stephanie Kifowit (D – 84)**
Christian Mitchell (D – 26)**
Ron Sandack (R-81)*
Silvana Tabares (D – 21)*

Illinois Senate
Kirk Dillard (R – 24)**
Sam McCann (R – 50)*
Karen McConnaughay (R – 33)*
Joe Neal (R – 31)*
Michael Noland (D – 22)*
Carole Pankau (R – 23)*

*Announced as part of first round of endorsements in February
**New endorsements announced March 15

Stand for Children Illinois PAC is an independent, non-partisan PAC.

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Stand for Children is an innovative, grassroots education advocacy organization. Our mission is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, a college education. To make that happen, we educate and empower parents, advocate for effective policy, and elect education leaders.

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