Volume 15, Issue 8

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hot Topics

A new study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) came out last week entitled "It's time for an ambitious national investment in America's children." The study concludes that "Investments in early childhood care and education would have enormous benefits for children, families, society, and the economy." EPI details how these early childhood programs can address two major problems—income inequality and a slow down in productivity growth—by investing in young children, their parents, and the early childhood workforce. A blog on the Wall Street Journal picked up on the study and points out that the data from this report reveals that parents in 23 states have to pay more for a year preschool than a year at a public university.

A new report from AEI draws broad conclusions about early childhood policy from a very limited number of studies of early childhood programs. Readers should be aware that evidence reviewed is not sufficient to support the conclusions and program features are not always accurately described (e.g.,  Abbott programs have a substantive parent engagement component, the Perry program's minimum years of participation was one year not two and Perry's home visits focused on individualized tutoring for the child not on parents). Sara Mead responds broadly in US News and World Report and recommends that the nation learn to provide high quality early education at scale by actually doing it in cities and states across the country. The importance of looking to all of the scientific knowledge relating to early learning and development when formulating policy recommendations has been highlighted in a Brookings Institution blog. You can view the text of the AEI report here.

 

New on Preschool Matters...Today!

In a report published by the Center for American Progress, NIEER researchers find that providing high-quality prekindergarten to all children nationally would dramatically reduce inequality in academic preparedness at kindergarten entry. Allison Friedman-Krauss provides highlights from the report on our blog.

Due to the sheer numbers of young DLLs aging into early care settings and kindergarten, the opportunities and learning outcomes for preschool age DLLs have mounting implications for educators and policy makers alike. We take a look at some of the resources on this increasingly important issue in today's blog post.

Resources

A report from the Carnegie Foundation entitled "Do randomized controlled trials meet the 'gold standard?'" highlights calls attention to off ignored threats to the validity of randomized trials by examining 27 studies of mathematics curriculum in the What Works Clearninghouse (WWC). Seven threats to the usefulness of randomized controlled trials are found that favor the results of the treatment. It found these threats present in all 27 of the studies it examined, and 26 of them had more than one of these problems. The report also issued five recommendations based on its results in the vein of reviewing the studies involved and examining RTC's in other fields for similar concerns. One clear lesson is that state and local education agencies cannot blindly rely on WWC to identify evidenced-based curricula.

A new paper, and calculator, from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) by authors Eric Djimeu and Deo-Gracias Houndolo, presents the statistical concepts used in power calculations for experimental design drawing from real world examples. The Sample size and minimum detectable effect calculator is a free and easy to use online tool.

In South Africa the government has funded three social impact bonds for maternity and early education outcomes, a blog from the Brookings Institute reports. This 25 million rand ($1.6 million) bond is the first of its kind in a middle- or low-income country.

The Center for Advanced Linguistics has posted a summary and several briefs from its 2014 summit on dual language learning.

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) expects to hire one or more Research Professors (rank open) to help inform early childhood education policy through research and policy analysis. Fields of specialization are open. However, all applicants should have interest and knowledge in early care and education policy.  All candidates are expected to have strong analytical skills. To express interest, please send a letter and curriculum vitae to jobs@nieer.org and reference the research professor position. For more information check our webpage.
 
 
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) also expects to hire be adding an experienced early childhood policy analyst to our team.  To express interest, please send a letter and curriculum vitae to jobs@nieer.org and reference the policy analyst position.

 

Martha Montag Brown & Associates, LLC is pleased to announce a search for a new Program Officer – Early Education with the Heising-Simons Foundation http://www.heisingsimons.org/ in Los Altos, California. The Program Officer will manage the Foundation’s Early Education (ages birth to eight years) grantmaking with an emphasis on children’s educational transitions and learning trajectories from preschool through third grade. The position reports to the Education Program Director. 
 
The ideal candidate will have: 1) a relevant graduate degree in child development or early childhood education with a focus on ages birth to eight years (a PhD or EdD strongly preferred); 2) a deep understanding of early childhood development in the context of family and community; 3) in-depth knowledge of research/evaluation methods and expertise in translating research for improvement of policy and practice; 4) substantive experience building programs and/or grantmaking in early childhood education ages birth to eight years; 5) expertise in approaches to aligning professional development and instruction from preschool through third grade; and 6) knowledge of workforce dynamics for early education systems.  
 
Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter and salary information by email to martha@marthamontagbrown.com.

CEELO Update

Preschool Development Grant Teaching & Learning Table cohorts continue to meet focusing on effective, inclusive instructional tools and credentialing of teachers and administrators, and Leadership Academy fellows continue to enhance their leadership skills by making significant progress on selected job-embedded projects.
 
Presenters for this year's Roundtable have been confirmed: Steve Barnett, Steven Hicks, Gail Joseph, Tammy Mann, Evelyn Moore, Kimberly Oliver-Burnim, and Marcy Whitebook.
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) will provide technical assistance and grants of up to $12,500 to up to six states to support governors’ staff in developing and beginning to implement a policy agenda that strengthens the early care and education workforce. This project is intended to help governors connect workforce investment strategies and resources to improve training, effectiveness, and working conditions for early care and education professionals. States will receive technical assistance and grants to help:
 
  • Complete a data or policy audit and determine priorities, using NGA Center’s framework and policy tool, to inform the state’s strategic plan for improving the quality of the ECE workforce;
  • Map relevant state initiatives and resources across sectors that can be better coordinated to support a coherent policy agenda to improve the quality of the state’s ECE workforce;
  • Develop a cross-sector task force or convene a group that includes representatives from the governor’s office, ECE, higher education, and workforce development to create or enhance an implementation plan for addressing ECE workforce development issues.
 
The NGA is seeking applications from governors’ offices that want to explore, develop, modify or implement state policies and practices that support and improve the quality of the early care and education workforce. Applicants should present well-defined and achievable goals and promising strategies and activities to achieve the goals. Strong applicants will also demonstrate how this project supports the governor’s priorities and how the strategies proposed further the governor’s larger education reform agenda.
 
Proposals are due Monday, May 9, 2016, 5pm ET.  State selection announcement will be late May. All states in good standing with NGA are eligible to take part in this opportunity.
 
Please contact Aaliyah Samuel, Senior Policy Analyst (asamuel@nga.org or 202-624-7857) or Sarah Silverman, Program Director (ssilverman@nga.org; 202-624-5486) with questions.

Calendar

April 19, 2016 - 8:00am to April 21, 2016 - 5:00pm
This unique and inspiring educators’ conference has been designed by The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities along with the Pyramid Model Consortium to bring educational professionals a unique learning experience. The format of this event focuses on bringing teaching experts from around the world together to offer practical, ready to apply techniques on social and emotional development to be used to address challenging behavior in the classroom.
 
This event provides an unparalleled opportunity to increase your knowledge and skill base for dealing with behavior issues in your classroom as well as connecting with colleagues and build your connection with the professional educational community.
 
You can learn more about the conference here.
April 19, 2016 - 8:00am to April 21, 2016 - 5:00pm
This unique and inspiring educators’ conference has been designed by The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities along with the Pyramid Model Consortium to bring educational professionals a unique learning experience. The format of this event focuses on bringing teaching experts from around the world together to offer practical, ready to apply techniques on social and emotional development to be used to address challenging behavior in the classroom.
 
This event provides an unparalleled opportunity to increase your knowledge and skill base for dealing with behavior issues in your classroom as well as connecting with colleagues and build your connection with the professional educational community.
 
You can learn more about the conference here.
April 22, 2016 -
12:30pm to 2:30pm

A Step Up To Quality accredited workshop for practitioners on "Promoting Bilingualism and Biliteracy in the Classroom" will be held at the Schoenbaum Family Center on April 22 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Register.

May 26, 2016 - 12:01pm to May 28, 2016 - 12:01pm
Registration: Early bird deadline approaching! Register before the early bird deadline (4/15 at 11:59pm EST) and receive discounted conference registration. Also save money by becoming a member of ICIS before registering and take advantage of member benefits.
 
Pre-Conferences: We are happy to announce that there are 5 groups organizing pre-conferences on Wednesday May, 25th. Follow the link for more information on the 5 pre-conferences and other special events at the ICIS conference.
 
Program: The online program is now available. Be sure to check out the 2016 Invited Program for exciting sessions at this years’ conference.
 
For more information about the meeting please visit the ICIS website.
June 6, 2016 - 8:00am

You are invited to join the First Early Childhood Education Action Congress, hosted by the Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to be held in Paris on June 6-7th, 2016.  This event will bring together 450 leaders from many countries to discuss how to build the political and public support needed to ensure that all children of the world get a good start in life.

Participants will discuss how to attract new advocates for early childhood, what messages are most effective in building support, and what programs can be scaled up to reach large populations of children.  The meeting location is the OECD headquarters at the historic Chateau de la Muette.  

For more information and registration, visit www.eduensemble.org. 

June 22, 2016 - 8:30am to June 24, 2016 - 4:00pm

The Third Annual Conference of the Early Childhood Social Impact Performance Advisors, will be held June 22-24 in Denver, Colorado. Cohosted by the Institute for Child Success, ReadyNation, and the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah, this is a major national conference on Pay for Success (PFS) social impact financing and the only such conference focused on early childhood Pay for Success.

Individuals and jurisdictional teams must apply for attendance by April 20. To get more information and apply, visit this page.

 

Early Education News Roundup

Friday, April 15, 2016
(The Pitt News)

Mayor Bill Peduto wants to give every child in Pittsburgh access to pre-K education.

“If I had a magic wand and I could give one thing to the city right now, it would be pre-K education for every child, so that by the time they start kindergarten, they all start along together,” Peduto said Thursday morning as he introduced a presentation on early childhood development from Pitt researchers.

Alongside Peduto and Pitt’s Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement Kathy Humphrey, a panel of four Pitt researchers and community leaders spoke in the Connolly Ballroom on Thursday morning about the importance of discussing race with young children. Pitt’s Office of Child Development, Center for Urban Education and Supporting Early Education and Development lab sponsored the researchers’ report, called “Understanding PRIDE in Pittsburgh: Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education in Pittsburgh.”

The report, which the School of Education published in late March, showed that messages regarding race often impact children by the time they’re 3 years old.

 

 

Thursday, April 14, 2016
(ArkLaTexHomepage)

Reading, writing, and math are just some of the subjects kids at Kinder Care learn about every day, but there is something else they learn that is not in a school book.

"It's not just about educating the children academically. We have so many kids that don't know how to get along with others. They come into the program. We teach them how to get along with others," said Teacher Katrina Saverin.

Last year, the state cut five slots from Kinder Care. Saverin said the school and the community can't afford to lose anymore.

"If they don't have those life skills and the budget is cut, then we have five kids that could be on the streets doing drugs, robbing, raping, killing," explained Saverin. "So, it's important to keep this program, so that we can meet those needs early."

Thursday, April 14, 2016
(Great Falls Tribune)

Kindergarten isn’t just singing and games anymore.

While the qualification to enter school is the same – being 5 years old as of Sept. 10 – today’s kindergartners spend their days learning letters, reading their first books, counting, following multistep instructions, developing problem-solving skills and much more.

Many can’t sit still, stand in line or don’t know how to interact with other kids.

“If they can’t master those skills, then they struggle,” Family Connections’ Lori Ekhart said. “It’s challenging for a teacher with 20 students to have even a few students who aren’t prepared. It takes her time away from other students.”

Thursday, April 14, 2016
(U.S. News & World Report)

People following news about pre-K may be experiencing a similar sense of whiplash. Earlier this month, the Center for American Progress published a report, written by researchers from the National Institute for Early Education Research, that analyzed data from high-quality pre-K programs and concluded that participation in quality pre-K could virtually close the achievement gap for black and Hispanic students in reading and halve it in math.

This week, however, the American Enterprise Institute synthesized research on 10 early childhood programs and concluded we don't know whether pre-K works at all. Do these conflicting findings just reflect the polarized ideological positions of their respective institutions? It's enough to make an observer throw up one's hands and just eat a donut.

Yet when we put these conflicting analyses in the context of the lived experience of early childhood providers and children as they currently exist in the United States, the confusion falls away and it all makes sense.

Thursday, April 14, 2016
(EdSource)

California should fundamentally refashion the way it attends to its youngest residents by offering access to high-quality childcare and education for all children aged 5 and younger within five years, and by instituting a range of child- and parent-friendly reforms in the workplace, a commission of business and policy leaders, academics and former elected officials said in a report released Wednesday. “This is a clarion call to action,” Right Start Commission member and former state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said about the report, which recommended the state consolidate its 18 early childcare and education programs, which it said are governed by 11 separate agencies. . .

The report envisions the state fully supporting children’s health through expanded childcare, preschool and transitional kindergarten, and better medical care achieved through increased Medi-Cal reimbursements and fixing an Affordable Care Act loophole that leaves 73,000 children without affordable health care, though it doesn’t say how that fix would be done. It characterizes its recommendations in transformative terms.

Thursday, April 14, 2016
(89.3 KPCC)

There is bipartisan agreement that the state's early childhood system is broken. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed overhauling it, but his proposal doesn't have the support of experts and leaders in the field. Now two new reports reinforce the myriad of problems with the current system and present alternative suggestions for improving the lot of children under the age of five.

A new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute finds the high cost of child care to be a significant reason why families with small children nationwide are not feeling the bounties of the economic recovery. According to the report, two major economic issues – income inequality and a slowdown in the growth of productivity – would both benefit from investments in the early childhood field. “American productivity would improve with a better-educated and healthier future workforce,” the report states. “Inequality would be immediately reduced as resources to provide quality child care are progressively made available to families with children.” In arriving at these findings, the report authors looked at the costs that make up a basic family budget nationwide: rent, healthcare, food, etc. Child care was a significant cost in many states, including California.

Thursday, April 14, 2016
(My San Antonio)

During the election season, politicians highlight the differences between parties. It is hard to think of two politicos more different than Julián Castro, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Gov. Greg Abbott. One works in the Obama administration, while the other repeatedly sued the same administration. But they have one thing in common: Both have attached their political fortunes to our state’s youngest learners.

Castro and Abbott are the grandfathers of a statewide movement to expand access to quality pre-kindergarten. As mayor of San Antonio, Castro made expansion of quality pre-kindergarten a priority. In the last session of the Legislature, Abbott made quality pre-kindergarten his top legislative priority despite fierce resistance from the tea party wing of the Republican Party. Pre-kindergarten is not liberal or conservative. Pre-kindergarten is just smart business.

Commitment to early childhood does not begin and end with pre-kindergarten. Texas spends hundreds of millions annually to support early childhood programs at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). These efforts have almost no coordination.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
(The Edvocate)

If you’re a parent, you know how debilitating the cost of child care can be on your wallet. From weekly tuition costs that may rise with little notice to other expenses like gas, food, and doctor visits that add to the weekly expenditure, paying for your child’s care while your working may seem like more trouble than its worth at times.

A new study by the Committee for Economic Development underscores the point of how burdensome child care costs are for American families. According to the study, “childcare costs consume an average of 7.2% of household income for those with children in paid care” and “parents with children in paid child care pay an average of $143 per week ($7,436 per 52-week year) for child care services.” That’s just the national average. In other states, the costs are higher. . . 

Simply put: if more families had a better connection to healthy, organized child care centers with potential aid from the state, we would see production increase at work and a bump to our economy. This study also proves the point of having universal preschool for all children nationwide. While the federal government would foot the bill to create the program, doing so would, again, help grow this nation’s economy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
(Los Angeles Times)

Three billion dollars may sound like a lot of money to spend on preschool -- but maybe it isn't enough. That's what a group of advocates, former policymakers, researchers and business executives is saying in its push to remake the state's early childhood education landscape. The $3-billion figure is an estimate of the state and federal dollars that California spends on preschool and childcare each year -- but the group of 12, called the Right Start Commission, is calling for the state to increase that expenditure by at least $5 billion each year.

The goal is to get every 4-year-old in the state into a good, free preschool, and to enable every family to send its younger children to an affordable daycare on a sliding pay scale based on family income. Common Sense Kids Action, an arm of the nonprofit advocacy group Common Sense Media, convened the commission. Common Sense made its name vetting television content for children. On Wednesday, the commission is releasing a report that calls for universal childcare and preschool, as well as the creation of a single online portal where parents can access childcare options, instead of navigating the confusing maze of providers. According to the report, there are now at least 18 public programs administered by at least 11 governmental departments for kids 5 and younger.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
(89.3 KPCC)

Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to overhaul the state's early learning system by consolidating all of the state's programs into one large block grant was roundly criticized in Sacramento on Tuesday. Speaking before the Assembly's budget subcommittee on education finance, committee members and prominent advocates spoke out against what they argued is a rushed and confused policy proposal. The governor's block grant proposal, which was included as part of his larger budget plan released in January, adds no new early childhood funds but instead consolidates all of the state's current early education options, eliminates the transitional kindergarten (TK) program and creates a voucher system for subsidized childcare.

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, chair of the education subcommittee, was adamant that major changes to the early learning system should be debated as policy changes, not in budgetary negotiations. “This needs to have some comprehensive policy overview, we shouldn’t just tuck it into a budget and let it fly,” O’Donnell said during the hearing. O'Donnell also criticized the idea to eliminate the state’s newest preschool grade for 4-year-olds, transitional kindergarten, which early education advocates long fought to create. “We just started transitional kindergarten and now it looks like we’re ready to blow it up,” O’Donnell said.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
(EdCentral)

What would happen if the United States established a universal, high-quality pre-K program for all four-year-olds? While the establishment of such a program would be a massive undertaking and is unlikely to become an immediate reality, it’s worth engaging in this sort of thought experiment in an effort to understand the effects such a nationwide program might have. In a new report commissioned by the Center for American Progress, researchers at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) seek to discern the effects that a high-quality, nationwide pre-K program for four-year-olds would have on the country’s youngest learners.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
(Business Insider)

Day care is expensive. In fact, educating your preschooler may be pricier than sending your teenager to college. "In nearly half the country, it's now more expensive to educate a 4-year-old in preschool than an 18-year-old in college," Eric Morath at the Wall Street Journal reports.The cost of child care outpaces the cost of a four-year college education in 23 states. The data comes from a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The cost of full-time day care or preschool is most expensive in Massachusetts — $12,781 annually, about 20% more than the average in-state college tuition of $10,702. The largest discrepancy is in Florida, where child care is 73% more expensive than college. "High-quality child care is out of reach for many American families — not just those with low incomes," the EPI reports. "Child care costs are one of the most significant expenses in a family’s budget, largely because child care and early education is a labor-intensive industry, requiring a low student-to-teacher ratio."

Monday, April 11, 2016
(myPalmBeachPost)

For the second year in a row, the state will not be rating the 6,220 preschools collecting cash through Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten program. And lawmakers have dictated that scores won’t be calculated for next year either. Ever since Florida lawmakers saw fit to invest millions to cover the cost of prekindergarten for the state’s 4-year-olds more than a decade ago, they also required those schools, most of them private, to be rated based on how well their students were prepared once they got to kindergarten. But that rating system was derailed in the fall of 2014 by a new computer-based test. A resolution to end-run that one test and rely solely on another measure also failed this fall when educators and legislators alike agreed the results were too rosy to be true. “The children were now miraculously more ready for kindergarten,” the director of an early learning coalition in Escambia County was quoted as saying after seeing a statewide pass rate that went from 75 percent of providers to better than 95 percent. . .

Some states measure quality by demanding certain standards be met in the classroom – certified teachers, only state-approved curriculum, etc. – the Sunshine State allows parents to choose what quality looks like, explained Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research. For years parents could go online to find a preschool’s score. The readiness ratings were calculated using two types of evaluations within 30 days of preschoolers arriving in kindergarten. “So if you don’t give parents that feedback, then you really don’t have anything,” Barnett said.

Monday, April 11, 2016
(EdSource)

Early childhood education advocates and providers head to budget hearings in Sacramento this week with a big “ask”: $800 million for preschool and other early learning programs. That would put early education spending somewhat higher than it was before the 2007-08 economic collapse, though still with about 75,000 fewer preschool and child care slots than in 2008. Early education supporters want more money for child care and preschool services; 10,000 more slots in the California State Preschool Program for low-income children; and more quality control funding. They also want income limits for eligibility for state preschool and child care programs to be raised, which would increase the number of children with access to services.

The Advancement Project will be among groups making their case Tuesday and Thursday at the influential Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education. Last year, lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown delivered $300 million, which included 9,500 preschool slots, for early education.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
(Policy Matters Ohio)

Economic Policy Institute shows families struggle to afford quality care. Ambitious national investment in early childhood care and education would alleviate financial hardships for families and build a foundation for children to succeed in school and their future careers, the Economic Policy Institute says in a new report.Childcare and preschool create benefits for children, families, society and the economy. But with too little public investment, their costs are unaffordable for many families. EPI’s report proposes expanded public funding for home visits by trained nurses to help parents before and after childbirth, subsidies to allow parents to afford high-quality childcare, and publicly funded, high-quality pre-kindergarten.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi visited Brooklyn on Wednesday to showcase a pre-K program at P.S. 123 in Bushwick with U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Pelosi touted the mayor’s universal pre-K initiative and urged the U.S. to take the program nationwide – a $75 billion proposition which has stalled in Congress.

De Blasio told Pelosi that 68,500 city kids attended full day pre-K. “Just for perspective sake, that is more children than the entire school system of Boston, or the entire – sorry I have to say this – the entire school system of San Francisco, your hometown,” he said. The mayor added that he thought universal pre-K had strong bipartisan support “because it is such a clear and effective investment.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
(San Antonia Express News)

Broadly, education providers will use the money to expand existing prekindergarten programs from half-day to full-day, provide extended-day programs for parents who work or go to school, provide enhanced curriculum, technology, professional development and family engagement. North East ISD will use its award to offer full-day and after-school prekindergarten programs at West Avenue, Royal Ridge and Olmos elementary schools, which were chosen based on student need, said Julia Schneider, the district’s assistant director for early childhood education. The extended programs will serve about 200 4-year-olds. NEISD’s grant will also fund professional development, a partnership with Communities in Schools and an early childhood social/emotional specialist.

“It’s a great opportunity for our families,” Schneider said.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
(Huffington Post)

The odds are stacked against low-income, black and Hispanic children before they even start school. Low-income children enter kindergarten 13 months behind their more affluent peers in reading. Black and Hispanic children are nearly seven months and 12 months behind white students in reading, respectively. The initial disparities make it difficult for disadvantaged and minority students to catch up through high school and college. But a simple policy prescription could narrow those gaps, suggests a new paper from the Center for American Progress. The analysis looks at how a high-quality universal preschool system could affect achievement gaps between groups of students. Less than 20 percent of black, Hispanic and lower-income students currently attend high-quality early-education programs at schools or other education centers, the study’s authors estimate — but about 24 percent of white children and nearly 30 percent of higher-income children do. White children are more likely to be enrolled in high-quality programs. . . 

The results surprised W. Steven Barnett, one of the study authors and the director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. “We expected gains, but we didn’t expect such dramatic reductions in the achievement gaps for children of color, which essentially virtually erase the gap in literacy at kindergarten entry,” Barnett said. The analysis speaks to the debate around whether publicly funded preschool should be offered to all kids, or if programs should target poor students unable to afford fee-based centers.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
(Yahoo Finance)

Kenney's new city budget taxes soda at $0.03 an ounce, according to a report by the New York Times. The policy would make a 20-ounce bottle of soda $0.60 more expensive, effectively doubling the cost of some drinks. He estimates that the more-than-$400 million that could be raised via the tax in the next half decade would fund universal preschool and allow the city to renovate a variety of its most vital public venues. As far as soda tax proposals go, it seems like a long shot. Time and time again, significantly smaller ones have been shot down across the country. The only city to have successfully passed one in the United States thus far is Berkeley, California.   

Monday, April 4, 2016
(Las Vegas Sun)

A multimillion-dollar federal grant helped Nevada enroll 782 low-income children into preschool last year — a number slightly below what state education officials called their aspirational enrollment goal of 900. The Nevada Department of Education announced results Friday for a federal preschool development grant that's expected to triple the number of classroom slots available for Nevada's 4-year-olds. It's an effort to boost the prospects of at-risk children and improve Nevada's low marks for preschool access. "While our first-year goal was ambitious, our first-year results are good," state Superintendent Steve Canavero said in a statement. "I'm optimistic that the next three years of funding will continue to provide meaningful support in areas such as literacy to children and their families."