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.

Read the full article here.