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Obama’s Stimulus Saves Some NY Early Education Programs


 
New York, NY — President Obama is committing the government to an overhaul of the education system, and early-education advocates say it’s coming just in time. In New York, some home-visiting programs have been shut down for lack of funding.
Sarah Walzer with the Parent-Child Home Program says school districts all over the state are seeing increased demand for pre-K and early education, but programs have been cut back and some even have been closed because funding has not kept pace for the past eight years.
Walzer says Obama’s stimulus plan is changing that by injecting more than $5 billion into programs like Head Start. He also has committed to increasing federal grants for early education programs in his budget plan, she adds.
“That combination of things is incredibly important. It’s what’s going to enable communities to build that cradle-to-workforce set of services for kids that will enable them to be successful workers.”
Critics of the president contend he is highlighting issues like education to divert attention from the nation’s economic troubles, but Obama says education is one of the ways America will rebuild the economy over the long term.
At the King Urban Life Center, Buffalo, director Claity Massey has been tracking how kids do when their education starts right after they are born. Massey says those children are scoring, on average, 25 percent higher than their fellow students who had no early education at home.
“They’re all in the same class, they have the same teacher, the same educational programs; however, by third and fourth grade, the test scores are significantly improved for those children who have had that early foundation.”
Congress is considering the Education Begins at Home Act (S-244), which would designate federal funding directly to home-visiting programs that involve parents in the education of children age 5 and under.
Mike Clifford, Public News Service – NY

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