WBRE: Report: PA Pre-K programs need more money
Study finds Pennsylvania ranks 18th out of 30 states
January 18, 2018 By Eric Deabill
SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A new report says Pennsylvania is not making the grade when it comes to funding Pre-K programs.
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children says its study found the commonwealth ranks in the bottom half, 18 out of 30 states, that make public investments in Pre-K programs.
The report found that only 36-percent of eligible children in Pennsylvania benefit from high-quality, publicly funded Pre-K programs.
Researchers found that per-student spending is drastically lower than neighboring states like New Jersey, New York, Maryland and West Virginia.
At the United Neighborhood Centers in West Scranton, Eyewitness News found four and five year olds enjoying dance lessons Thursday. They were learning to socialize and follow directions while also having fun.
What the kids don’t know now is the skills they’re learning today will most likely help them succeed in school growing up and later in life.
“Some of these kids, they come to us and their speech is delayed. By the time they leave us, they’re on par with other children,” Tammy Marcinkevich with United Neighborhood Centers said.
On Thursday morning, business and education leaders joined together to urge state lawmakers from the governor down to state representatives to provide more money for Pre-K programs.
A new report found that 64-percent of at-risk, eligible kids in Pennsylvania, roughly 113,000 in total, aren’t able to attend a program.
“Ninety percent of a child’s brain is formed by the age of five. Think about that! Ninety percent! If you can fill up that kid with all the right ideas and all the right habits!” Peter Danchak, PNC Bank Regional President said.
The people in this room know most politicians “say” they support Pre-K programs but now they need to back up those words with dollars.
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