Schools push for Snyder's early education plan

7:03 AM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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Shawmut Elementary

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Governor Snyder is asking lawmakers to add $130 million over two years for the state's early education programs. 

About 40% of Michigan's kids are not enrolled in pre-school because private pre-school is expensive, and the lack of public funding causes limited space in publicly funded classes.

Governor Snyder's proposed plan would help more students fit into Dickinson Elementary's preschool class according to Grand Rapids Early Education Director Joanne Kelty.

"We service about 600 children in Grand Rapids we have about 1,700 children that enter kindergarten so we have a large gap of children eligible for preschool services who can't get it."

Kelty says the first issue is that pre-school in Michigan isn't mandatory. 

"It's been 9 years since we've had a funding increase, yet the cost to operate continues to go up."

Kelty says, kids who have early education perform better and studies prove it. 

"Their scores are better in 4th grade, 8th grade, as they move up through the grades."

As for the kids who don't get in, they fall further behind. That's all the more reason Kelty says, she hopes lawmakers consider Snyder's proposal. 

Our partners at Grand Rapids Family Magazine are also focusing on early childhood education in May. You can read the full article at the GR Family Magazine website.

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