Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh’s pre-K promise

“Because of the proven success of quality pre-K programs, I am happy to stand with the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children and other advocacy organizations across the state to support the Pre-K for PA Campaign. It is time that we raise the awareness of those in or running for office that it makes sense to invest in young children.

Gov. Tom Corbett is asking the state Legislature to provide $10 million more for pre-K programs in Pennsylvania this year. There is no guarantee our state legislators will go for it, but, even if they do, it is not enough. Over the last three years, the Legislature has gutted so-called accountability grants to local school districts, 75 percent of which went for early childhood programs. To close its widening budget gap, Pittsburgh Public Schools has increased monthly pre-K tuition for middle-class families.

We need to take our city’s destiny into our own hands. That’s why I propose a Pittsburgh Pre-K Promise to ensure that people in the middle who can neither afford full pre-K tuition nor qualify for supplemental programs can get their children started on the right foot.”

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