The Daily Gazette
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Cuts loom for pre-K programs

Federal reductions erode programs for youngest students, officials say

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Little by little, the number of children in educational pre-kindergarten programs is dropping. In Schenectady, the creep is small: 36 children will not be able to join pre-K at all next year, and some others will only be offered a half-day class. The trend is the same throughout the country. According to a report released by the National Institute for Early Education Research, 2012 was worst year for pre-K in more than a decade. “After ...

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April 29, 2013
8:21 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The greatest return on education investment is in the youngest learners. Solid research has shown that the economic rate of return for each dollar spent to be $11 or more. The austerity budgets the Board has passed the past few years have been an unfortunate reality, but the priority funding needs to be on where we as educators can have the most impact. We are doing ourselves a great disservice economically and academically by not ensuring that as many kids as possible become enrolled in full-day, full-year pre-K. By continuing these misplaced priorities we will have increased education achievement gaps, increased crime, increased special education costs, increased use of social services. We need utilize decades of solid research and make adequate investment in 3 and 4 year olds.

When I am elected to the Board I will work to ensure that we reduce long-term costs and increase long-term academic achievement by creating an outstanding early education program in Schenectady.
Thomas Hodgkins