Rauner: Increase early childhood funding, technical training

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed increasing funding for early childhood education and investing more in community colleges and technical training.

The Winnetka Republican wants to make the increases top priority despite warning for weeks of painful budget cuts. He said Wednesday during his State of the State address that Illinois must "avoid slipping further behind other states in the quality of our children's education."

But Rauner hasn't said how he'd pay for the increase or how it might affect other areas of the budget.

The state faces a $5.7 billion budget gap next year after the expiration of Illinois' temporary income tax increase.

Rauner has invested millions of his own money in education reform efforts. He says he wants to lift the cap on charter schools to offer more choices.

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