Philadelphia educators call for more Pre-K programs
This week 500 preschool-aged kids joined the Philadelphia school district at Franklin Square to call for more funding for early childhood education in the city, and the state. Right now less than 20 percent of the children in Pennsylvania are able to access state-funded preschool programs — and that’s a number the school districts, and the advocacy group Pre-K for PA, believe must change.
Philadelphia schools superintendent William R. Hite stood before the kids and their parents and called for an increase in the amount of resources and educational opportunities for the kids in his school system, particularly the ones who are Pre-K age. Hite said that the difference between children who are able to take advantage of early childhood education opportunities and those who do not really does show up later in the schooling process.
“Quite frankly, it’s the difference between reading at a third-grade level and not. That’s a big indicator for us for future success of a child,” Hite said.
He added that “every single student” should have access to early childhood programs in the state — not just a handful.
The rally is certainly a step in the right direction, not just for Philadelphia schools, but for all urban K-12 ones that often suffer lower achievement rates, lower graduation rates and higher behavioral problems than suburban or rural settings. Giving kids an early start in academics and the structure of a school setting is important to boosting the success of K-12 students and also to the overall communities impacted by these students.
What are your thoughts on making Pre-K part of the K-12 process across the country?