Here’s a sampling of early childhood education in the news for the week of July 28- August 1
Disrupting the “School to Prison Pipeline” Must Begin in Early Childhood In a powerful essay for the Washington Post, Tunette Powell details the experiences of her two boys who have both been suspended multiple times from preschool. Powell advocates for fair discipline in early childhood education programs, citing trends that criminalize minor infractions in schools and funnel children from public school into the juvenile justice system at earlier and earlier ages. Children in poverty and children of color are especially vulnerable. Powell calls for strong parental involvement and enhanced training for preschool teachers to keep kids in school and learning. Read More.
American Families Want Congress and the President to Do More In the Huffington Post, Judith Warner of the Center for American Progress tracks Americans’ changing attitudes toward public policy solutions for families and children. Voters views have changed since the early nineties and now a majority of voters – Democrats, Independents and Republicans – say they want leaders to implement more family-friendly policies including family leave, flexible work options and publicly-funded pre-K. Read More.
Preschool Saves Money in the Form of Reduced Crime The return on investment for high quality early childhood education programs frequently comes in the form of reduced crime and lower incarceration rates for students later in life. Read More.
FROM THE STATES
WASHINGTON: Seattle’s Universal Preschool Ballot Initiative up for Debate Seattle voters will decide on November 4th whether or not to approve a $58 million pre-K program to be funded through property tax increases. Representatives from the Greater Seattle YMCA, the Washington Policy Center and the Yes on I-107 campaign debated the measure at a recent Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce event. Read More.
INDIANA: Indianapolis to Invest $25 Million in Early Childhood Education The Republican Mayor of Indianapolis announced that the City of Indianapolis will invest $25 million in high-quality early childhood education for children in low-income families. The expansion is part of Mayor Greg Ballard’s crime prevention plan. Read More.
NORTH CAROLINA/OKLAHOMA: Does Preschool Help Fight Crime? The Fayetteville (NC) Observer sent a reporter to Tulsa to study Oklahoma’s preschool program as part of the paper’s yearlong Seeking Safety series which examines how communities across the country are fighting crime. Oklahoma is one of just three states with universal early childhood education. The story cites research data linking preschool with lower crime rates and highlights the positive outcomes for Tulsa children and families. Read More.
MAINE: New Pre-K Funding Takes Effect Maine’s Department of Education will spend an additional $4 million to help school districts expand Pre-K programs. Read More.