Early childhood education continues to receive growing support from within Pennsylvania. Through the statewide Pre-K for PA campaign, educators and community leaders are not the only ones expressing a commitment to investing in the state's youngest learners.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and Former Gov. Mark Schweiker (R) toured the state from Erie to Philadelphia to encourage their state leaders to commit to pre-k for all Pennsylvania 3 & 4 year olds by 2018. Convening in Philadelphia at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Governor Mark Schweiker noted how the investment makes solid business sense.
"I have seen the benefits of investment in pre-k to the economy in Oklahoma and Georgia. I am lifelong Pennsylvania resident. I won't see the benefits of that investment [here]. Pennsylvania needs to invest in Pennsylvania - not only for the academic benefits but also the economic growth and opportunity," he shared.
Former Governor Ed Rendell echoed those sentiments and shared the recent data that supports the growing support throughout Pennsylvania for an investment in early learning. "67% of Pennsylvania voters across party lines support expanding access to high-quality pre-k programs," Rendell shared during the joint press conference.
The Economy League commissioned an economic impact report to demonstrate why this is a smart investment. Steve Wray pointed to "Pre-K Math" (http://economyleague.org/node/1767) an infographic previously shared but still relevant. Investing in pre-k for all 3 & 4 year olds in the state would mean 28,000 new jobs and 1.8 billion dollars in local sales.
In addition, "Education is a core issue for PA voters – 41% of whom say education is one of the most important issues for elected officials to focus on." Pre-k is an issue that has bipartisan support in the legislature and among voters across Pennsylvania. As Gov Rendell stated, "We're not there yet. We've made great strides but we need to do even more."
If you are a Pennsylvania resident and would like to support the statewide campaign for affordable, voluntary access to high quality pre-k for all 3 & 4 year olds, show your support by signing on here: http://www.prekforpa.org/
Pre-K for PA is an issue campaign supported by individuals and organizations across Pennsylvania who believe that investing in our children is the right choice and an urgent necessity. Our vision is that every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania will have access to high-quality pre-k. We will not endorse nor oppose candidates, but rather we will advocate on behalf of this vision for Pennsylvania’s children, schools and communities. The campaign’s founding statewide leadership includes: The Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, Public Citizens for Children and Youth, The Economy League, The United Way of SE PA & NJ, Mission: Readiness, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Pennsylvania Association for Head Start, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children, and Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.
Then tweet and share why you are in favor of Pre-K for PA with the #IAmPreK.
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PreK4PA
Find on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prekforpa
Follow Mary Ellen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryemannix
Find her on Facebook via james's project: https://www.facebook.com/JamessProjectOrg