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Examining the push to get kids starting school strong.
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.
March 29, 2014
Pre-K funds, charter school protections, and Common Core changes in state budget deal
New York State reached agreement for a new spending plan, allocating pre-K funds for New York City, effectively reversing Success Academy co-location reversals, and laying out a process for new city charter schools to receive facilities support.
March 27, 2014
Pence signs bill establishing preschool pilot program
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence today signed into law a bill creating a preschool pilot program that was one of the centerpieces of his legislative agenda.
Adding it all up
March 24, 2014
More children now in poverty than during the recession, according to 2014 Kids Count
More children are living in poverty than during the 2008 recession and that number is growing. That's the latest from the 2014 KIDS COUNT report from Colorado Children's Campaign, the annual report on the state of child health, wellness and education.
March 21, 2014
Ballard aims to commit matching dollars for preschool
Mayor Greg Ballard will seek to offer about $100,000 for matching grants to boost Indianapolis preschools. In 2013, lawmakers approved a $2 million matching grant…
March 20, 2014
What my family got out of daycare that public pre-K could provide
A mother says she hopes the city's expansion of pre-kindergarten will provide the same kind of insight into child development, strategies to try at home, and dynamic social atmosphere that her children's daycare offered.
March 19, 2014
Preschool: Support reached the tipping point
Why was this time different for preschool at the statehouse? Two big factors: strong and growing support for early childhood education from business leaders and Pence’s evolving embrace of the idea of state aid for poor preschoolers over the past year.
Save the date
March 17, 2014
A tale of two districts and their kindergarten cut-off dates
Kindergarten entrance dates are a fraught subject for parents, and recent changes to the dates in two Colorado districts illustrate the anxiety and questions such changes provoke.
March 17, 2014
What de Blasio says when he talks to parents about pre-K
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined a phone drive at the Brooklyn Public Library on Sunday to recruit families to sign their children up for new…
March 13, 2014
Indiana moving to offer direct aid for preschools for the first time
A last minute compromise today revived a preschool pilot, which then passed the legislature, giving Gov. Mike Pence a chance to sign into law a…
March 13, 2014
Ailing preschool pilot program finds new life (updated)
New life was breathed into Gov. Mike Pence’s ailing preschool pilot program proposal under a deal forged by a committee of Democrats and Republicans from both legislative chambers. The pilot, stripped out of House Bill 1004 by Senate Republicans concerned about the program’s potential long term costs, was put back in and could even serve more kids than originally estimated.
stars in the making
March 10, 2014
New rating system on the way for preschools and child care
This summer the state is expected to launch a new mandatory five-level rating system for early childhood care providers, including preschools, child care centers and family child care homes. While there are many details left to work out, experts say the effort is a step in the right direction for improving the quality of care for Colorado's youngest children.
February 26, 2014
Pence renews push for preschool program
Gov Mike Pence called on lawmakers to reinsert a preschool pilot program into a bill that now would only study preschool. Speaking in a preschool classroom at Shepherd Community Center preschool on the East side of Indianapolis, Pence it was vital to get started with the pilot program, which was stripped out of House bill 1004 by Republicans in the Senate Education Committee last week.
February 25, 2014
Fariña: Principals have already offered 800 classrooms for pre-K
Chancellor Carmen Fariña asked, and principals delivered. Specifically, they submitted about 800 of their rooms for consideration as new pre-kindergarten classrooms—space the city needs in…
February 19, 2014
Senate panel drops Pence-backed preschool program
One of Gov. Mike Pence’s top legislative priorities, a preschool pilot program, appears to have been stymied for 2014. The program that would have been created by House Bill 1004, was set aside today by the Senate Education Committee, which preferred to hand the idea off to a legislative summer committee for more study. The rewritten bill, with the pilot program removed and language creating the study committee inserted, passed the committee 9-0.
February 12, 2014
In rare legislative appearance, Pence touts preschool
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence testified on behalf of a bill for the first time as governor today, making a personal plea for support for his proposed preschool pilot program. His goal: Get reluctant fellow Republicans on the Senate Education Committee to vote yes on House Bill 1004 to create the program. But the bill could still be in trouble. After Pence's remarks, Republican committee members remained skeptical, asking a long list of questions about the cost, practicality and need for state-paid preschool.
February 11, 2014
Six weeks into de Blasio's term, unanswered school questions abound
Bill de Blasio filled his campaign with critiques of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the school system, including his administration’s emphasis on standardized test scores, its shuttering of low-performing schools, and its enthusiastic backing of charter schools. But since taking office, he and his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, have offered few clues about exactly how they will address some of the biggest issues facing students and educators.
February 10, 2014
The basics of early childhood education in Indiana: A new era begins
Indiana has long been behind most of the rest of the country when it comes to state support for early education. But there are some signs the state could be changing its attitude toward early childhood education. An important change in the political landscape was the strong support of Republican Gov. Mike Pence in late 2013 for a new preschool pilot program.
February 6, 2014
Pence promises big push for preschool bill
Recapping the just-completed first half of the legislative session with reporters, Gov. Mike Pence promised to push hard for a preschool pilot program. He also praised a bill passed this week by the Senate that would void national Common Core standards Indiana adopted in 2010.
the path to pre-k
January 28, 2014
King says statewide pre-K would cost far more than Cuomo budgeted
Expanding pre-kindergarten access across New York State would cost more in a single year than Gov. Andrew Cuomo has budgeted for five years, state schools chief John King said today. The estimate provides yet more fodder for the ongoing debate over how to fund universal pre-K.
January 28, 2014
Colorado’s achievement gap in reading one of the largest in the nation
The gap in reading ability between Colorado’s low-income and affluent students is the seventh largest in the nation and growing, according to a report released…
January 27, 2014
During hearing, de Blasio's pre-K gatekeepers scrutinize his plan
Lawmakers wanted to know why Mayor Bill de Blasio needed new taxes to pay for something that could be covered by the state, pointing to an alternative funding proposal that Gov. Andrew Cuomo floated last week. And several asked why charter schools have been absent from the proposal's details, with a Bronx senator threatening to withhold his support over the issue.
January 27, 2014
De Blasio unveils implementation plan for lofty pre-K proposal
Mayor de Blasio’s signature campaign pledge, to expand full-day prekindergarten access to all New Yorkers, got new details today with the release…
January 16, 2014
Preschool bill easily passes House
The Indiana House today strongly supported a bill that would represent the state’s first foray into direct aid for preschool, passing it 87-9. House Bill…
Middle School Matters
January 9, 2014
De Blasio drops by Bronx dance class to highlight after-school plan
Much of de Blasio’s energy since taking office has gone into the politics of getting expanded prekindergarten funded. But his proposed tax hike on top earners — which requires state approval — would also finance more after-school programs for middle school students. Today, de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña visited M.S. 331 to see a model program in action.
December 20, 2013
Pre-K campaign kickoff continues with a new video
The official campaign for universal pre-kindergarten that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio launched on Thursday got its first lobbying video today, seen above. The video highlights support…
December 19, 2013
Bill de Blasio lobbies Albany for pre-K plan
Bill de Blasio is ratcheting up his lobbying campaign to get the support he needs in Albany to fund his ambitious pre-kindergarten expansion plan. The…
December 11, 2013
Kenley: Costs may scuttle most of Pence's 2014 education agenda
Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Luke Kenley Luke Kenley, the powerful chairman of the Indiana Senate's appropriations committee, said Wednesday he doubts potentially costly proposals from Gov. Mike Pence to offer preschool tuition vouchers to low income families, boost charter schools or aid teacher innovation can be enacted before 2015. "I don't see us doing anything in 2014 on these issues," Kenley, R-Indianapolis, said in an interview. "If you want to have a fair sense of fiscal discipline and evaluate any program, it has to be done in the context of the rest of the budget."
December 9, 2013
'Sometimes you're wrong:' Weingarten on de Blasio critique
UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, just days before the Nov. 5 mayoral election. Earlier today, we pointed out that some Democrats who supported one of Bill de Blasio's rivals during the mayoral primary were coming around to a campaign pledge they once panned. Another of those critics of Blasio's expanded pre-kindergarten access plan—which calls for an income tax hike on wealthy New Yorkers—was American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who endorsed Bill Thompson in the primary. In August, Weingarten held a conference call with reporters specifically to criticize the plan. “We need a mayor in the city of New York who will take this idea and actually get it done and not base it on a tax that may never materialize,” Weingarten said then, calling Thompson “a doer” and describing de Blasio as more of an idealist. But when asked today if she remained pessimistic about the plan, which requires state approval, Weingarten said she had been mistaken. “Sometimes you’re wrong, as I was during the campaign, when I suggested that Bill de Blasio couldn’t gain support in Albany for his early childhood education initiatives," Weingarten said in a statement.
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