Sunday, August 1, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Kindergarten Teachers: "Idaho Needs More Preschool Options"


Wednesday, October 10, 2018   

KENDRICK, Idaho – A coalition is launching an effort to bring preschool to more Idaho kids, and kindergarten teachers say it could level the playing field for their students.

The Gem State is one of only five states that doesn't invest in preschool, and Angie Tweit, who teaches kindergarten in Kendrick, said preschool opportunities are rare in rural towns such as hers. After years of waiting, Tweit had an epiphany in 2016 and realized she would have to step up to get preschool in her community, so she started an early-learning collaborative.

"It just dawned on me, 'I can't wait any longer.' I mean, the students are coming in and they only have one shot at that," she said. "So, another class would go through and no preschool, and it felt like we were starting off day-one 'kindergarten intervention.' "

Tweit said the most helpful group in this effort has been parents. Her district offers preschool at no charge and, in return, parents volunteer once a month in the classroom. She said the collaborative is supported by a patchwork of funding from businesses, education foundations, the district and a federal Community Learning Center grant.

The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children is to launch its "Preschool the Idaho Way" project today in Boise. According to Idaho AEYC, every dollar invested in quality early-learning programs could save taxpayers $7 to $13 in costs of children repeating grades and special-education services.

Kuna kindergarten teacher Alyssa Townsend said she is convinced that investing in preschool would ensure long-term success for more students. She said kids come to her class without many of the basics - including academic, social and fine motor skills.

"If kids come to us at five years old still at a three-year-old ability level – which we get very, very often – they're trying to catch up those last two years," she said, "and they can't do three years worth of growth within the year that we have them."

Affordability and cost remain big barriers. Tweit said the idea isn't mandating that every parent put their child in preschool - but rather giving every kid a chance at the benefits of an early-learning program.

"We just don't want to have the 'haves' and the 'have-nots.' As a kindergarten teacher, I see children who come who have received early-childhood education, and then there are the children who come who have not," she said, "and we just want to make sure that everyone has access to quality preschool programs."

Information on the Preschool the Idaho Way launch is online at

get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021