Pre-K cuts shortchange our future
December 21, 2011
Governor Bob McDonnell's budget proposal, unveiled on Monday, included many budget cuts, but one of the most major is a devastating blow to Virginia's preschool students. The Daily Press reports, "$81 million will be cut from the state's preschool initiative, a program Gov. Tim Kaine championed to provide an early boost to at-risk children at a developmentally critical age."
Progressive Point: Competition is increasing in the global economy, and Virginia should be leading in education, not getting left behind. So it's baffling that Governor McDonnell would cut $81 million from pre-k programs, which are proven investments in long-term economic growth. McDonnell's heartless budget cuts are robbing Virginia of investments in our future to avoid closing tax loopholes and giveaways. McDonnell faces a choice--cut proven education programs that prepare our children to lead in the global economy or protect tax breaks for big corporations and the 1%. For Virginians, the answer is clear: invest in our children and help them reach their full potential. Unfortunately, McDonnell doesn't agree.
Get the Facts:
- The Governor's cuts to preschool education are short-sighted as "Strong preschool intervention is a clear indicator of future success, including higher graduation rates and lower incidence of crime. In some areas, preschool programs are even being promoted by business leaders as an essential economic development tool." (Daily Press, December 20, 2011)
- McDonnell is costing our classrooms by purposefully not adjusting K-12 funding for inflation and earmarking 78% of it to replenish the teacher's retirement system which won't go to educate students at all. (Washington Post, December 20, 2011)
- A large amount of brain development is finished before the age of five. Early education is particularly important during this formative time as it has long term benefits. It is very important for at-risk children as their environments may not have the capacity to educate at this essential time for learning. (Mike Signer, New Dominion Project, November 23, 2011)