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December 16, 2015
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Democratic lawmakers unveiled a two-year plan to expand preschool to 17 school districts, reinstate funding for before- and after-preschool care and establish a pilot program to combine private and public dollars to fund preschool expansion.
This is great news and puts preschool on the legislative agenda. But, a lot more work is needed to turn this proposal into reality. Lawmakers plan to introduce legislation in January to enact the plan, which will require approval from the full Legislature and the Governor. We are working with our partners at Pre-K Our Way to build support for these initiatives and hope you will join us.
What is being proposed?
It also states that lawmakers “will work to advance an effort to reinstate funding” for “wrap-around” child care for children in the former Abbott districts. This funding was cut several years ago and supports child care for preschoolers before and after the 6-hour preschool day.
The third piece would establish a pilot loan program that would establish a public-private financing option to expand preschool throughout the state. “The investor would finance the service expansion, and both the state and the private investor would share future savings resulting from the investment,” the plan said.
We will keep you updated as more details emerge and as this proposal moves forward. We will also provide you with ways to support preschool expansion for children across the state.