Carlisle Sentinel: Report: 70 percent of Pa. children can’t access preschool

“The report is part of a new push by a coalition of 10 nonprofit organizations to ensure every child has the opportunity to attend a strong preschool program. The coalition launched the “Pre-K for PA” campaign last month, in hopes of spurring lawmakers to devote more resources to early education as they develop the 2014-15 budget.

“Pennsylvanians want to see their tax dollars invested wisely in areas that benefit all of us, and they increasingly recognize that high-quality pre-k is one of those areas,” said Joan Benso, president of the Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. “It has a ripple effect throughout a child’s life and throughout a child’s community.”

Advocates say expanding public preschool programs will send children to kindergarten with more advanced math and language skills, reduce special education placements and grade repetition, and increase high school graduation rates and college enrollment. They highlight research that identifies long-term economic benefits of affordable preschool for all, including helping students achieve higher-earning potential and reducing the costs of crime and public assistance.”

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