Governor and First Lady Host Annual Easter Egg Event to Highlight Importance of Pre-k Investment

Harrisburg, PA (April 3, 2018) – Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf today hosted pre-school classes from across the commonwealth at the annual Easter Egg Event at the Governor’s Residence. The event was co-sponsored by Pre-K for PA, a non-partisan advocacy group that supports the expansion of publicly funded pre-k.

“Frances and I are proud that Pennsylvania delivers high-quality, publicly-funded pre-k to many children, but over 106,000 kids remain unserved and a serious investment must be made to continue toward the goal of providing access to all at-risk kids,” Governor Wolf said. “Pre-k doesn’t just benefit the children fortunate enough to access a high-quality program, it benefits the entire commonwealth. We must get serious about investing in early childhood education to make sure all of Pennsylvania’s children enter kindergarten ready to learn.”

In his 2018-19 budget, Governor Wolf proposed an additional $40 million to support high-quality pre-k programs in the commonwealth. This expansion would mean access to publicly funded, high-quality pre-k for 4,400 more kids.

“Today, only 39 percent of eligible children in Pennsylvania benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend high-quality publicly funded pre-k,” said Jodi Askins, founding partner of Pre-K for PA. “With Governor Wolf’s proposal to invest $40 million in this year’s budget, 4,400 more children will be able to access high-quality pre-kindergarten, a fundamental building block of our state’s education system that helps ensure children have the strong foundation necessary to enter kindergarten ready to learn.”

Studies show that children who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten perform better in school, graduate at higher rates, and earn more throughout their working lives compared to peers who do not have access to early learning programs. Additionally, children who were previously enrolled in Pre-K Counts outperform their economically disadvantaged peers in third grade math and reading.

Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal contains education investments at all levels, including:

*   $100 million increase in Basic Education;
*   $40 million increase in Pre-K Counts and Head Start;
*   $20 million increase for Special Education;
*   $15 million increase for the State System of Higher Education; and
*   $10 million increase for Career and Technical Education

Pre-K for PA is an issue campaign supported by individuals and organizations across Pennsylvania who believe that investing in our children is the right choice and an urgent necessity. Its vision is that every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania will have access to high-quality pre-k. For more information visit www.prekforpa.org

 

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