Monday, July 03, 2006

Advocates want $60 million a year for universal pre-K

A coalition of city's education advocates are calling on the District government to fund pre-kidergarten for all of the District's three and four year olds.
About 7,500 District children of that age are in pre-kindergarten classes run by traditional public schools, charter schools, Head Start and community groups, but another 2,000 who could be served are not enrolled, according to Pre-K for All D.C., the ad hoc organization pushing the initiative.
The claim is that this can be provided at the cost of roughly $58 million a year. Expensive? Not according to the advocates. They cite a study by City University of New York economics professor Clive R. Belfield that shows the funding of early education pays for itself in later years from a decrease in spending for special education, health care, criminal justice and higher tax revenues created by a better educated workforce [whether it makes your teeth whiter or floors shinier remains to be seen]. Some also think it will be an added draw for people thinking about moving into the city.
Carrie L. Thornhill, a D.C. school board member and co-chair of Pre-K for All D.C., said families would be more attracted to the District as a place to live if there was universal pre-kindergarten.
Um, no. Families might be more attracted to the District as a place to live if there was quality universal pre-kindergarten. Considering that the District can't seem to provide a quality K-12 education I won't hold my breath for a quality pre-K education.

1 comment:

Mari said...

There is quality education in DC. Bad quality.
DC should have an exit interview with parents who leave the District and find out their 3 main reasons.