During the most unique year in recent memory, the 2020 legislature proved its commitment to early education by ensuring per-pupil pre-K funding was enough to promote quality. Because the pandemic interrupted the session and sidelined many general bills, the 2020 legislature made the funding change directly in the budget bill. We were thrilled with this progress, but a change in the budget bill only lasts for one year. This year, we need to finish the job to make the rate increase permanent and prevent a cut to pre-K in the middle of the pandemic.
Now, we are calling on you to help us “keep the change”!
Having quality pre-K is critical in order to realize the benefits promised by the program.
The legislature must update the pre-K law to say, “Funding shall be provided to early learning collaboratives as follows: no less than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500) per student in a full-day program and no less than One Thousand Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($1,250) per student in a half-day program, whichever is proposed in the collaborative’s approved application. …Existing early learning collaborative agreements must be modified on July 1 of each year to reflect any increased cost per child approved by the Legislature for that year.”
House Bill 1123, now pending in the Senate, correctly makes the change we need. Senate Bill 2664, now pending in the House, could be amended to make the change. We need your help to make sure these pre-K bills move forward. Contact your House member to amend and pass SB 2664. Contact your Senator to pass HB 1123. You can call, email, and tag your legislators telling them to “keep the change!”
Pre-K is one of the most effective educational interventions for children. Join us in reaching out to legislators to prove their continued commitment to early education.