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This year's July 4th had COVID-19, ongoing protests about systemic racism, and a presidential visit to Mt. Rushmore. Plus, Trump signed an order to plan a new statue park.

Lawmakers Say Minnesota Kids Need an Educational "Jump Start"

January 30, 2007


A state plan aims to "jump start" education for Minnesota kids. Sponsors say legislation being introduced today at the state capitol would give all Minnesota kids access to early education, so they enter school ready to learn. Senate author Tarryl Clark says it's designed to provide parents more early childhood learning options.

"We want to close the achievement gap for all of our kids. So, we're creating 'child allowances' that give parents the opportunity to decide the best early childhood experiences for their kids, so they enter school ready."

She says the 'allowances' for pre-school kids would be based on family income, for use in a variety of programs that help a child get a "leg-up" on kindergarten.

Todd Otis with Minnesota-based Ready-4-K says the plan is a good step in making sure all Minnesota kids, whatever their financial circumstances, enter school on an equal level and are prepared to learn.

"I think we're getting on the track to getting, instead of 50 percent of our children ready for kindergarten, hopefully by 2012, 80 percent of our children will be ready to thrive in kindergarten."

Otis says kids who are ready for school do better academically and socially, and are more likely to have a satisfying and productive adulthood.

Jim Wishner/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MN