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Examining the push to get kids starting school strong.
September 25, 2014
PNC pledges $500,000 for preschool if Ballard’s plan prevails
PNC Bank in Indiana is joining in with a half-million dollar pledge of financial support for preschool if only Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard can find…
September 25, 2014
Shortage of options for working parents seeking quality child care
A new report from Qualistar Colorado reveals that working parents may have few options when it comes to finding licensed care for their young children.
September 24, 2014
State preschool pilot will launch in January, Pence says
A new state preschool pilot program in Marion County should get off the ground in January, although it might start out by serving a small…
September 22, 2014
Ballard's $50 million preschool plan in peril
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's ambitious preschool program is in danger of being scrapped altogether after being stripped of its proposed funding method with no alternatives on the table.
September 16, 2014
Democrats block funding for Ballard's preschool plan; meeting erupts
A proposal to eliminate the local homestead tax credit was tabled tonight by Council Democrats. Eliminating the tax credit was how Mayor Greg Ballard wanted to pay for a $50 million preschool program.
September 15, 2014
Chalkbeat reporting so far on Mayor Greg Ballard's preschool plan
In late July, Mayor Greg Ballard announced a new $50 million initiative to increase access to high quality early education. Research shows that kids who participate in such programs are more successful later on in life. The initiative also aims to reduce crime and examine practices in school discipline.
September 15, 2014
Tennessee might now be in running for federal pre-K money
If Tennessee gets one of ten expansion Pre-K grants, they could receive up to $70 million in the next four years, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said while he was on tour in Tennessee last week. Thirty-four other states are qualified for the grants.
September 12, 2014
Lilly rallies business leaders to back Ballard's preschool plan
Eli Lilly and Co. hosted about 50 CEOs and executives from the city's financial, health and human services and education sectors at their sprawling downtown campus and urged them to support Ballard's plan, which has been under fire from council Democrats who don't like the way the mayor wants to pay for it.
September 11, 2014
U.S. Sec. of Education pushes for Haslam to apply for pre-K money
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Tuesday that Gov. Bill Haslam should apply for federal money available for prekindergarten expansion, the Chattanooga Times…
September 10, 2014
Democrats raise doubts about Ballard's preschool plan
Democrats who are wary of Mayor Greg Ballard's blockbuster $50 million proposal to help more children attend preschool across Indianapolis will offer their own preschool expansion plan later this month. But supporters of Ballard's plan say Democrats are playing politics and putting at risk a potentially huge benefit to poor Indianapolis children.
September 5, 2014
You ask, we answer: Who decided when students should learn to read?
When should students be able to read? And who decided that? That was commenter Joanne Roll’s response to an article last week on a new…
September 4, 2014
Tennessee’s largest districts expand focus on pre-K despite Haslam’s hesitancy
Both of Tennessee's largest school districts, in Nashville and Memphis, are pushing not only to expand pre-K, but to make it more effective by increasing standards in Memphis and creating model centers in Nashville.
September 2, 2014
New report digs into factors behind Colorado’s high child care costs
Factors such as high property taxes, more stringent quality standards and an underfunded state subsidy program all contribute to the high cost of child care in Colorado, according to a new brief.
August 27, 2014
Stringer: 70 percent of pre-K contracts haven’t been vetted
The city is dragging its feet sending hundreds of pre-kindergarten contracts for an independent vetting, potentially putting the city’s successful pre-K rollout at risk, Comptroller Scott…
August 20, 2014
Ballard takes aim at tax questions for preschool plan
Confusion remains for some residents over how Mayor Greg Ballard plans to fund his recently announced anti-crime initiative, which includes a $50 million public-private partnership to…
August 20, 2014
Charter school for teen parents finalizes location in northwest Aurora
A new charter school for pregnant and parenting teens will open in the fall of 2015 in a new building that will be constructed on the site of a former bowling alley on the west side of Aurora.
August 13, 2014
New kindergarten assessments voluntary this year, mandatory next year
Many Colorado school districts are piloting the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment in their kindergarten classrooms this year in anticipation of mandatory statewide implementation next year.
August 12, 2014
Buery defends pre-K guidelines issued to religious schools
After the inclusion of religious schools in New York City’s pre-K expansion efforts drew criticism, a top city official took to the airwaves on Tuesday…
August 12, 2014
Pre-K money will be split between two suburbs, ASD and Shelby County Schools
More pre-K classrooms will be coming to four districts across Shelby County by Sept. 2. Shelby County Schools, the Achievement School District, Bartlett City Schools and Millington Municipal Schools will each receive funds for new pre-K classrooms, according to the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation, which is administering the funds.
August 6, 2014
Two half-day pre-K programs do not a full day make, policy brief says
Since announcing his dramatic pre-K expansion, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly promised “high quality, full-day” seats. But a new policy brief suggests…
August 1, 2014
New programs for teen parents on the way in Aurora
Three new programs for pregnant and parenting teens will unfold over the next 12 months in Aurora with the goal of expanding educational opportunities for a group with historically low graduation rates.
July 31, 2014
To prepare for the first day of school, a lesson on dinosaurios
“Hoy vamos a jugar un juego de dinosaurios! Quien sabe cual es mi dinosaurio favorito? Es tiranosaurio rex!” So began a lesson on dinosaurs — nearly…
July 30, 2014
Ballard's education plan praised for boldness
Mayor Greg Ballard won praise today for his $50 million plan to combat crime with programs that aim to get kids in school sooner and keep them there longer. Under his proposal, city and private dollars would aim to send 1,300 more poor children to preschool, while also studying ways to reduce class time older students lose to suspension, expulsion or by dropping out of school.
July 30, 2014
$50 million preschool push a centerpiece of Ballard's plan to cut crime
Mayor Greg Ballard today announced major new education initiatives aimed in part at combating an upswing in violence in Indianapolis, most notably a $50…
July 30, 2014
Ballard hopes big money leads more kids to better preschools
A $25 million investment into early education by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is the most recent sign of momentum for early education in the state. The mayor's announcement follows the state pumping money into preschool, Indianapolis Public Schools expanding its plans for preschool and new collaborations between private providers and charter schools.
July 28, 2014
Shelby County Schools’ pathway to pre-K funds runs through foundation with suburban roots
Shelby County commissioners who voted last week to spend $3 million on expanding prekindergarten access are finding that they don’t control where the money will go. That’s because the commission earmarked the funds not directly to Shelby County Schools, but to a small foundation that has strong ties to the suburban districts that have left SCS and whose plans for the funds are unclear.
July 22, 2014
Marion County selected as pilot county for Pence’s pre-k program
Low-income four-year-olds in Marion County next year will have a new route to preschool. Gov. Mike Pence announced today that Marion County was selected, along…
July 21, 2014
County Commission approves $3 million to expand pre-K
The Shelby County Commission will give $3 million to the Shelby County Education Foundation to expand prekindergarten this year, according to local media…
July 17, 2014
County commission will consider giving SCS $6 million for pre-K
The County Commission’s education committee voted on Wednesday to provide an extra $6 million to Shelby County Schools for pre-kindergarten classes. But the initiative was…
Toddlers on the ballot
July 16, 2014
Denver council committee OKs preschool ballot question
The Denver City Council Government and Finance Committee approved proposed ballot language asking voters to hike and extend a sales tax to fund the Denver Pre-School Program 3-1. Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz opposes the tax.
July 14, 2014
In state of the city address, Denver mayor says it’s time to reauthorize preschool tax
That’s why Hancock plans to ask city voters in November to reauthorize a sales tax to fund the Denver Preschool Program. The mayor, in his…
goodbye paper and pencil
June 20, 2014
Improving care for the youngest by targeting the back office
Shared services is a relatively new approach in the early childhood arena, but one that is gaining momentum both in Colorado and nationally. Proponents believe the model will ultimately help early childhood providers—often small mom and pop shops—shed inefficient back-office practices so they can save time and money, and in turn offer better services to families.
June 18, 2014
Pre-K advocates pursue small strategies toward big goal
A coalition of pre-K advocates are moving forward with a collection of small strategies that they hope will, collectively, result in every child being prepared to start kindergarten.Although they’ve stopped short of calling it a full-on strategy, they are now pursuing several possible ways forward, including identify new funding, raising standards for daycare centers, and even returning to voters to ask for more funding.
June 18, 2014
Head Start workers protest the loss of 350 jobs serving low income children
At least 20 Shelby County Head Start workers protested the loss of as many as 350 jobs outside the Shelby County Schools monthly board meeting…
Toddlers on the ballot
June 11, 2014
Denver leaders plan to ask voters to extend, raise sales tax for preschool program
Flanked by some of Denver’s most savvy politicos — and four-year-olds — Mayor Michael Hancock today announced plans to ask city voters in November to renew…
June 9, 2014
Launch delayed for new early childhood rating system
The state has backed away from its planned July start date for a new mandatory quality rating system for early childhood education and…
June 5, 2014
62 percent of applicants get a public-school pre-K match, but many left waiting
The city began the complicated process of assigning next year’s pre-kindergarten students to seats on Thursday, telling 19,689 families that their child had landed a…
June 4, 2014
Indianapolis among finalists for state preschool pilot
Indianapolis is one of several key Indiana cities still eligible for the state’s new preschool pilot program, for which 18 finalist counties were announced today.
June 3, 2014
Commission votes down pre-K proposal
The Shelby County Commission voted down a proposal to fund pre-K classrooms Monday. Commissioner Steve Mulroy wanted $2.8 million to restore funding for 26 pre-K…
May 30, 2014
Momentum for early learning picking up in Indianapolis
On top of IPS's fast growing preschool program, other high quality options appear poised to create more spaces for Indiana's youngest learners, as the state, public and private entities get more serious about funding preschool.
May 27, 2014
A birds-eye view of every public school pre-K seat in the city
Curious how new pre-K seats at public schools map out across the city? Here’s a guide released by the department in map and list…
May 24, 2014
IPS proposal would expand preschool program
The Indianapolis Public School Board will consider expanding its fledgling preschool program to add 200 spots for four year olds by establishing 10 more preschool…
May 14, 2014
Searching for new ways to boost third grade reading, but only if they show results
A program called the Early Literacy Social Innovation Fund initiative aims to move the needle on third-grade reading proficiency in Colorado by investing in rigorous evaluation of nine early literacy efforts in the state.
2014 session review
May 9, 2014
For education, 2014 session was all about the money
Money dominated the education debate during the 2014 legislative session, which ended with increased base funding for schools and money left over for some special programs. That doesn’t mean finance won’t be an issue again in 2015. And touchy subjects like testing were mostly left to the future.
April 28, 2014
Jeffco board balks at expanding free full-day kindergarten
A $600,000 proposal to expand free full-day kindergarten in Jeffco schools was recently voted down by the conservative-leaning board and has led to an outcry among supporters of the program who say free full-day is important for at-risk kids and can help the district meet its achievement goals.
April 24, 2014
Applications for school-based pre-K up 36 percent, city says
Applications for public school pre-kindergarten are up 36 percent over last year, the Department of Education announced Thursday. Overall, 41,603 applications came in for seats in…
April 14, 2014
Shelby County Schools to ask commission to fund pre-K, capital needs
As Shelby County Schools prepares to finalize its 2014-15 budget, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II said he may ask the commission to fund a portion of…
April 14, 2014
City aims to close pre-K teacher pay gap with salary hikes
The city is moving to narrow the pay gap between pre-kindergarten teachers at community-based organizations and public schools, a divide that advocates have…
Show me the money
April 3, 2014
Innovative finance model could provide new path for early childhood services
An innovative financing tool called "Pay For Success" could fund new early childhood programs in Colorado. Under such programs, private investors pay upfront for social programs and government entities pay the investors back with interest if the desired outcomes and cost-savings are achieved.
March 29, 2014
Talking preschool, new education laws and school finance
Last week segment on Chalkbeat on Indiana Business featured a discussion that touched on Gov. Mike Pence’s preschool initiative, the just completed legislative session and Indianapolis Public Schools’ recent revelation that its past budgets were inflated.
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