Report: PA Needs to Invest More in Quality Pre-K
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania is continuing to invest in quality pre-K programs for at-risk kids, but a new report says there's still a long way to go.
According to the report, pre-K lays a solid foundation for success in school and beyond, raising graduation rates, reducing special-ed placements, decreasing crime and saving taxpayer dollars.
Joan Benso, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, says Pennsylvania is one of the 27 states that is investing in high-quality, publicly funded pre-K, and that investment has grown under four consecutive governors.
But, 64 percent of eligible children still are not being served.
"Other states, including our neighbors of New Jersey, Maryland, New York and West Virginia, are all doing a much greater amount of investments," she says. "Economic competitors like North Carolina are also beating us."
Pennsylvania ranks 20th in per capita investments in the programs.
Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed increasing state funding for pre-K by $75 million. That would make it available to an additional 8,400 three- and four-year-olds.
But, Benso points out that funding the program for the 113,000 eligible children in the state currently not being served will take an additional $340 million.
"And our hope in the Pre-K for PA campaign is that we'll move forward in this state in making that investment by the year 2021," she adds.
She also adds that every dollar the state invests in pre-K returns $4 in savings and benefits.
But Benso points out that the House budget, passed last month, only includes a $25-million increase in funding for it.
"We're urging lawmakers to push that number up toward that $75 million of the governor's, and make continued sustained investments so all of our eligible children can benefit from high-quality pre-K," explains Benso.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Health and Wellness
The holiday season is filled with recipes passed down from years before, and feasting with family and friends. But think again before you have …
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…
Another controversial move in Florida's education system is a proposal to drop sociology, the study of social life and the causes and consequences of …