It appears that once again the state House and Senate are having a hard time finding common ground on solutions to our K-12 funding, charter schools and how to improve student outcomes.
Although resolving these disagreements will continue dominate the discussion in Olympia, we urge the Legislature to also focus on an education issue on which they agree: the positive impact of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) in preparing youngsters to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
High-quality pre-K programs such as ECEAP lay the foundation for learning traditional "hard skills," such as reading comprehension, writing, and math, as well as the "executive-functioning” skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving. These are vital for success in school and the workforce and keep them from later involvement in crime.
The investments we make in ECEAP are also investments in K-12. When kids arrive kindergarten-ready, they are far less likely to repeat kindergarten, more likely to read at grade level by third grade and stay on track to graduate.
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If the Legislature is committed to improving outcomes of our common schools, investing more in ECEAP in the 2016 supplemental budget is a way to demonstrate this commitment.
ECEAP expansion will improve the outcomes of our K-12 schools, strengthen the future workforce and reduce crime down the road. This is a common-sense investment that will strengthen our future economic prosperity and safety of our communities.