CCER: Expansion of Preschool an Excellent Step Forward, But There is Much Left to Do
New Haven, Connecticut – Governor Malloy today announced the allocation of the 1,020 preschool slots that were funded during the 2014 legislative session. In response, Jeffrey Villar, executive director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) made the following statement:
“CCER is pleased that Connecticut has once again demonstrated its commitment to improving early childhood programming. Research shows that there are substantial short- and long-term benefits for children who attend preschool, especially for children who come from low-income backgrounds. Providing our youngest learners with these kinds of experiences is an important component of our ten-year plan to narrow Connecticut’s widest-in-the-nation achievement gap.
“CCER estimates that approximately 6,500 children from low-income families would benefit from state-funded slots in high-quality preschool programs. Last year, the state funded 1,000 slots for school readiness programs, and this year, we’ve funded another 1,020 slots. With today’s announcement, the state has allocated preschool opportunities to low-income children from 46 towns and cities across Connecticut. That is very exciting news.
“However, there is still a long road ahead. According to our estimates, approximately 4,080 needed slots have yet to be funded. Additionally, Connecticut needs a system of monitoring and rating the quality of these programs, so that we can ensure that the early childhood experiences being provided are producing results.”
About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform
The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER)–a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not- for-profit organization–works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families and children of color, and their peers. We advocate for state policies and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations.
For more information on CCER, go to www.ctedreform.org