Reading Eagle: Ed Rendell, Mark Schweiker push pre-K programs
January 20, 2018
Two former Pennsylvania governors – from two different parties – are urging candidates running for office to support strong pre-kindergarten programs.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, joined former Gov. Mark Schweiker, a Republican, at a press conference in Doylestown this week to draw attention to the issue. Rendell and Schweiker made the case that investing in pre-K programs will help improve Pennsylvania’s economy in the long run.
Only 36 percent of Pennsylvania children receive top-notch, publicly funded pre-K programs, according to a report from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.
“High-quality pre-kindergarten is not a luxury. It is an investment in Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Schweiker. “An educated workforce is essential if Pennsylvania hopes to compete in the regional and global marketplace, and high-quality pre-K helps prepare our future workforce for success.”
Rendell noted that Pennsylvania ranks 18th out of 30 states that invest public money in pre-K programs. The rankings are found in the report, “Pre-K Works, So Why Not PA?”
“We’ve got a big decision to make this November – as do voters in 12 of the 17 states that invest more than Pennsylvania – when we head the polls to elect a new governor,” said Rendell. “Candidates seeking public office must commit to getting Pennsylvania out of the bottom half of states and make it a top state for pre-k investments.”
Joan Benso, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, noted that other states invest more per capita than Pennsylvania, including Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.
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