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Pittsburgh Council approves task force to look into affordable preschool


March 15, 2017
Adam Smeltz
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As early as December, Pittsburgh could have a blueprint for broadening access to pre-kindergarten programs.

City Council voted 9-0 Tuesday to create an early childhood task force charged with fostering an affordable preschool plan. Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak said she would like the effort to finish by year’s end.

“Right now, we don’t have enough high-quality slots in the City of Pittsburgh to accommodate the need” for pre-K education, said Ms. Rudiak, who sponsored the legislation with Council President Bruce Kraus.

Mayor Bill Peduto is expected to sign the bill, administration spokesman Timothy McNulty said. Mr. Peduto, who is running for re-election this year, has called early childhood education one of his main focal points in 2017.

“It’s a one-time investment for a huge return down the road,” Mr. Kraus said. The task force should look in part at drug and alcohol awareness, and its work will help steer future policy decisions, he said.