A good step on Pre-K

The Guv expands Pre-K. This is from the good folks at the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children:

Perdue expands NC Pre-K to 6,300 additional children
Decision is first step to comply with court mandate

RALEIGH – This morning, Governor Perdue announced that she will make NC Pre-K available to an additional 6,300 children. This move marks the state’s first attempt to comply with the recent Court of Appeals ruling that no at-risk child shall be denied access to NC Pre-K. Currently, there is a waitlist of 11,678 children for the program.

“Governor Perdue’s decision means that over 6,000 more children will enter Kindergarten better prepared to succeed in school and in life,” stated Rob Thompson, Executive Director of the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children. “We hope that the legislature will extend funding for these slots when it reconvenes in January.”

Under Perdue’s directive, the state will enroll 6,000 new children in NC Pre-K over the final months of 2012. NC Pre-K program administrators will place many children as possible in existing classrooms, while others will wait for new classrooms to be created. The deadline for enrollment is January 1, 2013.

“While we applaud Governor Perdue and believe that this was the right decision for her to make, allocating non-recurring funds during the middle of the school year is not the most effective way to expand the program,” continued Thompson. “That’s why it’s critical that legislators include these additional slots in next year’s state budget so that parents, child care providers and state agencies can plan and prepare appropriately.”

During the 2011-12 school year, NC Pre-K served just over 26,000 children. Another 40,000 children were eligible for the program, but not enrolled due to a lack of funding.

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3 Comments

  1. Frank Burns

    October 18, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I’m urging the legislature and the new governor to be (McCrory) to eliminate the entire program as being wasteful. We should not be funding free day care. Studies show any educational gains are gone by the time the child enters middle school.

  2. Ed M

    October 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Sorry, Frank, but you’re just plain wrong about early childhood programs not having beneficial effects beyond a child’s early years.

    From the best source on the economic development benefits of early childhood programs:

    “But, some skeptic might object, won’t these test score effects fade over time unless we improve the K-12 system? Data suggests some fading of test score effects of early childhood programs. But then the effects re-emerge in adulthood.

    What is going on here? Perhaps the best explanation is provided by Nobel prize-winning economist
    James Heckman. Perhaps the key to preschool’s long-term effects is its effectiveness in raising not only hard skills, but also soft skills. Hard skills are whatever is measured by math and literacy tests. Soft skills are character skills and social skills, including how someone gets along with peers and authority figures, self-confidence, and the ability to plan. Early development of soft skills and hard skills in preschool leads to greater success in kindergarten, which further develops both soft skills and hard skills. And so on, into first grade, later grades, and eventually into adulthood. As Heckman says, skills beget skills. But this self-augmenting feature of skills development is particularly strong for soft skills. Even when IQ effects decrease a bit, preschool graduates do much better in later life decisions.

    This is particularly important for businesses because soft skills are AT LEAST as important as hard skills in determining worker productivity. Numerous business surveys show the importance of having workers who can get along with co-workers, customers and supervisors, and who show up at work on time.”

    http://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1028&context=presentations

  3. Stephen

    October 19, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Frank, did you miss this part?

    “This move marks the state’s first attempt to comply with the recent Court of Appeals ruling that no at-risk child shall be denied access to NC Pre-K.”

    It was court-mandated. Even Republicans have to follow the law …