PNS Daily Newscast - June 5, 2020 

It will likely take donations to help the Twin Cities recover from damage by looters; and state and local governments look for relief in next stimulus bill.

2020Talks - June 5, 2020 

Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

VA Preschool Initiative: Educational Boon or Boondoggle?

January 28, 2008

Charlottesville, VA - Governor Kaine's plan to increase his predecessor's "Virginia Preschool Initiative" is under fire from those who say it costs too much and returns too little. But a University of Virginia administrator contends that each dollar invested would produce up to a seventeen-fold return.

The issue of state-funded preschool in Virginia has long been debated: Would it be an economic engine or an unnecessary cost? Gov. Kaine likes the idea, and his budget for the upcoming biennium calls for a $56 million expansion of former Gov. George Allen's Preschool Initiative plan. However, opponents charge it's too expensive and doesn't do enough. That's not true, says Dean Robert Pianta of UVA's Curry School of Education.

"The investments in preschool typically return anywhere between $2 and $27 for every dollar spent. So it's an economically viable investment, as well."

More than just expanding slots for students, Pianta says, the program's focus on quality will make the investment more valuable.

"The governor's proposal to include a quality-rating assurance system is a critical component of this and a real addition to infrastructure for young children and families."

Kaine has proposed spending up to $140 million for the program by 2012. Pianta says the economic returns will come from a mix of revenues and savings, including lower special-education costs and greater earning opportunities for parents.

John Robinson, Public News Service - VA