WJACTV: Advocates Push for More Funding for Preschool Education
May 21, 2017 by Lauren Petrelli
Harrisburg, Pa. – A new study released two weeks ago suggests Pennsylvania is spending less money on pre-school programs compared to other states.
Gov. Tom Wolf and other organizations, such as Pre-K for PA, hope the study will encourage lawmakers to invest more money into the budget for early education.
According to the report called “Prioritizing Pre-K in Pennsylvania: A State Comparison,” Pennsylvania is one of 27 states along with the Washington D.C. that has decided to invest in high-quality pre-school education.
The report said Pennsylvania began funding pre-school in 2003 due to the Accountability Block Grant and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, but lawmakers said they need more funding.
The study showed 65 percent of Pennsylvania pre-schoolers eligible for publicly funded pre-school don’t get to attend, leading Pennsylvania to rank number 20 on the previous list mentioned.
Advocates who helped compile the study are now calling on the legislature to join the governor and expand pre-school investments in the state budget by $75 million for the coming fiscal year, as mentioned in the press release.
Reports show the new budget would allow 8,400 more children to benefit from publicly funded, high-quality pre-school next school year.
Advocates for the new budget believe high-quality early education is an investment that will lead to benefits in the state’s social services, reduced crime, and increased earning power, according to the study.
Read the article here.