CCE and CCI release groundbreaking statewide pre-K roadmap. | Teachers College Columbia University

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CCE and CCI release groundbreaking statewide pre-K roadmap.

The research is conclusive: Providing a high-quality early childhood education is crucial if we are to reach our state and national goals of educational equity and excellence, preparing children for college and career. CEE and CCI release a report that provides a detailed roadmap for making high-quality, full-day pre-K available for all three and four year olds in New York State over an eight-year period.
The Campaign for Educational Equity and the Center for Children’s Initiatives drafted this roadmap in consultation with more than 100public education and early childhood experts,advocates, teachers, and administrators across the state. It draws as well on lessons learned in other states and recommendations from leading national researchers in the field.

Our report offers a new financing strategy that recognizes prekindergarten as an essential educational service.In 1997, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver proposed and the New York State legislature adopted Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) legislation, a bold new approach to early childhood education. This plan builds on the significant investment, experience and expertise gained in state's UPK program, which now serves more than 100,000 children. It also expands on Governor Cuomo’s new competitive grant program, which adds high-quality full-day pre-K services for several thousand more children.

Our plan offers a roadmap for the urgently-needed next steps. Too many New York children still do not receive the benefits of pre-K. Nearly 40% of the state’s school districts are not even eligible to apply for state pre-K funding. At least 30,000high-need four year olds are not served. And 75% of our pre-K students are in half-day programs,which research shows to be insufficient to meet the needs of children and their families. Governor Cuomo’s New NY Education Reform Commission has already called for a “seamless pipeline” of educational services starting at birth, with full-day prekindergarten as the next strategic step in New York State. The commission recognized the potential for prekindergarten to narrow the achievement gap, with long-term benefits for children, schools, taxpayers, and communities, noting the “benefits outweigh its costs.” The governor’s commission should now recommend and the state should recognize both the need and the right of every child to early education and adopt a definitive implementation plan, based on this roadmap, for making pre-K truly universal in New York State.Making Prekindergarten Truly Universal in New York.

Making Prekindergarten Truly Universal in New York

As published in the Syracuse Post-Standard and the Capitol Confidential blog in Albany.

Published Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014