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Simon Pushes for Higher College Graduation Rates in Illinois 

 
WMBD/WYZZ TV
August 22, 2011
By Jacob Long

BLOOMINGTON - Third graders in Bloomington are in their first full week of school, but they're already learning about college.

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon visited a class at Oakland Elementary School on Monday.

She chose third graders because their going to be graduating from college in 2025.  That's the year Illinois leaders want 60% of all working adults in the state to have a degree or certificate.

Simon admits it's an ambitious goal and some challenges are standing in the way.

But she says there's too much at risk to not encourage future generations to succeed educationally.

"This will help make Illinois more competitive on a global scale.  We want people to understand the benefits of higher education," Simon says.

Right now, 40% of working adults in Illinois have a degree or certificate.

Simon also visited a school in Peoria on Monday.  She serves as Governor Pat Quinn's key leader on education.