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A Thousand Kids and their Supporters Expected at State Capitol Today

March 29, 2007

Over a thousand kids, parents, educators and advocates are expected at the state capitol today for the annual "Voices for Children" rally. Todd Otis with "Ready-4-K" is one of the organizers.

"People from all over the state are coming to reaffirm the critical importance of early childhood, and how programs like
'Head Start' and early childhood education and childcare are critical to our state's future."

Otis says the recent $200 million cut in child care and early education funding will hurt Minnesota children. He believes an investment in kids pays big dividends.

"It's been shown that investment today that's effective will improve school readiness and school performance in K-12.
[It will lead to] fewer drop-outs, less crime, less public assistance, better skilled workers and, ultimately, a much more prosperous Minnesota."

Otis adds the goal of today's capitol rally is to raise awareness of the need for school-readiness among Minnesota kindergartners, and to encourage attention to early child care and education.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN