Another legislative initiative is shaping up to keep kids off the streets and in school. A local representative has proposed a bill that would bring in more dollars to the area for its truant alternative optional education program.
State Representative from the 67th District, Chuck Jefferson says, "These are dollars to make sure that if in fact we do have kids that might not be graduating from school there's reasonable program that we can get them back in the regional system, but also to help keep them in school."
Jefferson says Rockford has $2 million in the program, but it has lost thousands of dollars, while other cities have gotten more than their share.
"Chicago gets a big piece of that. There truancy rate is lower than Rockford's. Why would they get such a big bulk when we have the problem right here in Rockford. Let's redirect those funds." Says Jefferson.
Judicial leaders agree with the bill. They say the kids arrested are educationally neglected and come from homes where they're not getting the proper parenting.
Circuit judge for juvenile, neglect and abuse cases. Jefferson would like to see the budget increased for the program between two to three hundred thousand dollars.