September 19, 2018 #PAbudget Funded Pre-K Expansions Recognized Locally Policymakers from Butler and Westmoreland Counties joined Trying Together and other early-childhood advocates this week to celebrate a new pre-k grantee classroom and pre-k classroom expansion respectively. Both were made possible by the increased investment of $25 million for pre-kindergarten funding in the final 2018-19 state budget. To read more about both, see the articles below. Articles Ceremony Marks Expansion of Local Pre-K Programs (sharing via Butler Radio) Advocates tout early education gains (sharing via Butler Eagle) State grants bolster pre-kindergarten programs in Westmoreland County (sharing via Westmoreland Tribune-Review) Statewide Voter Support A poll commissioned by the Pre-K for PA campaign done by Harper Polling in May showed 75 percent of likely voters support increasing funding to expand access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-kindergarten, while 94 percent of voters believe that early education is important. A large body of research shows that children who attend high-quality preschool: Enter kindergarten with stronger literacy, language, math and social/emotional skills Are less likely to need special education services, less likely to repeat grades, and more likely to graduate and enroll in college Over a lifetime, these young learners will see stronger employment opportunities and increased earning potential Are less likely to commit juvenile and adult crimes. Still, more than 106,000 eligible children do not have access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k due to limited state funding. This new classroom made possible by new state funding is a step in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done. Pre-K for PA is an issue campaign supported by individuals and organizations across Pennsylvania who believe that investing in our children is the right choice and an urgent necessity. Our vision is that every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania will have access to high-quality pre-k. We will not endorse nor oppose candidates, but rather we will advocate on behalf of this vision for Pennsylvania’s children, schools and communities. For more information www.prekforpa.org.