By Gus Bode

Ill. gives nearly $270 million in preschool grants

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded nearly $270 million in preschool grants to programs around the state.

The board announced Tuesday that the grants will help fund about 936 programs serving more than 77,000 children in fiscal year 2012.


Of the programs that will receive funding, 478 were selected by Chicago Public Schools. CPS gets 37 percent of the state’s Early Childhood Block Grant.

The other 458 programs are around the rest of the state.

The education board says reviewers who selected the programs took into account their performance on previous grants and student demographics.

Priority was given to sites that serve a largely low-income student body and those that have a high percentage of African American and Hispanic children.

Skokie man gets 2 years for posing as lawyer

CHICAGO — A judge has handed down a two-year prison sentence for a suburban Chicago man who handled dozens of cases while posing as an attorney.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 47-year-old Tahir Malik of Skokie pleaded guilty to forgery and impersonation of a lawyer. Judge Dennis Porter sentenced him Monday.


Malik is a convicted felon who was arrested in December after staff at the Skokie courthouse discovered he wasn’t licensed to practice law. At the time, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said Malik’s actions went undetected for years because he did everything right — except obtain a law degree.

The sheriff’s office says Malik was involved in more than 60 cases, including mortgage foreclosures and low-level criminal actions.

He’d previously served time in prison for a burglary conviction.