Early Education in the News
Hoping to create a groundswell of support statewide, the nonprofit Preschool California — which promotes publicly funded preschools for 4-year-olds — met recently with educators, businesspeople and community representatives in six cities, including Anaheim. The meetings are a way to share research and create strategies for developing support for a billion-dollar education initiative that Preschool California said, though costly, is necessary to meet families' needs.
We believe that early education -- prekindergarten in particular -- must be central to the school funding debate. The debate focuses instead on whether free public pre-k serves as a necessary foundation for all 4-year-olds, or whether it's a luxury that New York can afford to provide only to a few.
Poverty-level wages and minimal training are the reality for Nashville’s early childhood educators and the roughly 18,000 children served by them, according to a study released Tuesday by a local children’s advocacy group.
A former governor of North Carolina addressed a joint session of the Oklahoma Legislature on Monday and touted the state's commitment to early childhood education.
This week's legislative logjam could jeopardize a pre-kindergarten program serving more than 1,200 4-year-olds in Minneapolis and St. Paul. A plan to save the program, which proponents say has been successful in narrowing the achievement gap, has the approval of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-Farmer-Labor-controlled Senate.
In contrast to the court-ordered preschools in Abbott districts, the state decided on its own to begin funding early childhood education in other districts with significant numbers of low-income children.
Gov. Joe Kernan couldn't get lawmakers to buy into his plan for statewide full-day kindergarten earlier this year, but yesterday he used an executive order to create a commission to keep looking at the issue. The 32 members of the Indiana Commission for Early Learning and School Readiness also will make recommendations for coordinating existing preschool, reading and other programs for children ages 4 and younger, whether they are offered by public or private organizations.
A legislative effort to restructure the way early education services are provided in Vermont has likely stalled for the year.
The proposal calls for the creation of a new Board of Early Education and Care to look at ways to strengthen existing early childhood education programs and develop educational standards that all daycare centers and preschools must meet to receive state licenses.
Voters asked for "high quality" pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-olds in Florida. Lawmakers ignored voters' demand, delivering to the governor legislation that provides so few academic standards that preschool is a misnomer.
Since the nation's welfare system was overhauled in 1996, New York City has received hundreds of millions of additional state and federal dollars intended to help women leave welfare for work and to greatly expand the city's low-income child care system. But the money has not significantly increased the number of licensed day care slots, for which the waiting list is now over 36,000.
On its final night, after weeks of squabbling about it, the Legislature finally produced a plan that would provide a free school-readiness program for every 4-year-old in Florida whose parents want it, beginning in August 2005. This foundation is strong enough to build on next year, when lawmakers have to figure out how to pay for pre-K.
The plan calls for pupils to be in class three hours a day, one hour shy of what the governor wanted. It also calls for a 10-to-1 child-to-teacher ratio, a considerably smaller one than what the House was seeking in its proposal along with a $7 million summer pilot program to begin in July in 10 school districts.
To prepare students for school and future academic and career success, some educators and politicians are getting behind an effort to offer preschool to all children in California. Proponents argue that students who do not attend preschool are behind academically when they enter kindergarten.
In announcing the first in a series of "KidsFirst" initiatives, Doyle said Wisconsin's "highest priority" must be investing in its children.
According to the 2000 census, 204,364 children under the age of five were living in Mississippi and only 54,058 of those children were enrolled in a preschool or nursery school.
The House paved the way yesterday for free preschool for thousands of Massachusetts 3- and 4-year-olds, passing a budget amendment that advocates hailed as historic. The amendment, pushed by House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, would set up two panels to sketch what a good preschool would look like, the type of qualifications the teachers should have, and who would run the schools.
Lawmakers are scrambling to create a program to provide prekindergarten to all 4-year-olds, but the governor said Tuesday it falls so short of what voters approved he is prepared to veto it. With three days left before lawmakers adjourn, the House and Senate are debating different versions of what will be the largest state-paid, prekindergarten program in the nation.
The judge's decision, the latest chapter in the 26-year battle over school funding in Massachusetts, could reshape classrooms across the state if the Supreme Judicial Court follows the recommendations. Her recommended remedies, which state education officials would carry out, include establishing free preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-olds, constructing adequate school buildings, and determining how much more money is needed for children with special needs.
To provide what some believe to be an academic edge in today's competitive classrooms, or even an athletic foot up, many parents postpone their children's entry into kindergarten so they are older in the grade than their peers. The irony of it, said Samuel J. Meisels, president of the Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development in Chicago, is that parents who hold their children out of kindergarten because it is too academic add to pressures a year later to make it even more academic.