Dear Governor-elect Tom Wolf:

Congratulations on your victory in Tuesday’s General Election.

Throughout this election season, supporters of the Pre-K for PA campaign have been working tirelessly to make increased access to high-quality pre-kindergarten a top priority among candidates for governor and the General Assembly. Given our efforts, we were pleased to see you outline a vision for expanding pre-k in the commonwealth because, as your campaign stated, “too much of the battle for educational achievement is lost before our children enter kindergarten.”

As you likely know, only 1 in 6 of Pennsylvania’s 3- and 4-year-olds benefit from high-quality, publicly funded pre-k, despite its many proven, cost-saving benefits to our schools, our workforce and our communities. This means nearly a quarter of a million Pennsylvania children each year miss out on the lifelong benefits of this critical early learning resource. We share your publicly stated goal of making high-quality pre-k available to every child in Pennsylvania because we know it:

  • Improves literacy, language and math skills that keep young learners on track to success as they enter kindergarten.
  • Reduces special education costs, grade repetition and dropout rates, while increasing the likelihood of high school graduation.
  • Generates savings in social and criminal justice costs and spurs economic activity.
  • Has the support of a strong majority of Pennsylvanians in both major political parties, according to several polls conducted this year.

Thankfully, your vision for expanding early learning opportunities also is shared by the General Assembly’s large Early Childhood Education Caucus – a bipartisan, bicameral caucus that has proven critical to increasing Pennsylvania’s pre-k investments over the years.

As you prepare for the challenging work ahead in 2015, the Pre-K for PA campaign stands ready to work with you and members of the General Assembly on increasing the commonwealth’s investments in high-quality pre-k so we can reap the many benefits it offers to our children, our taxpayers, our economy and our commonwealth as a whole. We all have a great deal of work to do to make high-quality pre-k available to all families that want it for their children, but we are confident we can accomplish this goal together under your leadership.

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. Our vision is that every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania will have access to high-quality pre-k.

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