Early Education in the News

Press Journal
July 15, 2002

Ruling last week on an initiative to provide preschool access to all 4-year-olds, the state's highest court has left the door open for what could be the most emotionally charged and fiercest fight for the hearts and minds of Florida voters: The education of Florida's children.

The Miami Herald
July 12, 2002

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday approved the ballot language for a proposed constitutional amendment to expand pre-kindergarten education statewide to 4-year-olds -- a measure sponsored by the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Alex Penelas. If the measure is approved, the expanded pre-K program would be phased in by 2005, which Penelas says would allow the Legislature time to get the funding.

Tallahassee Democrat
July 12, 2002

Advocates of a constitutional amendment that would provide pre-kindergarten classes for all 4-year-olds in Florida released a study by Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, saying the proposal would save the state between $2 billion and $3 billion per wave of 4-year-olds.

Gainesville Sun
July 12, 2002

Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas cited a recent estimate by a nationally recognized expert in education economics who said an investment in quality pre-kindergarten in Florida would save between $2 billion and $3 billion for each wave of 4-year-olds. Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, said the estimate takes into account money saved on special education, welfare and prisons, as well as what the successful preschool students eventually pay in taxes.

Education Week
July 10, 2002

If influential Senate lawmakers have their way, the Department of Education's primary research office will get its long-awaited face-lift this year. The $444 million-a-year OERI oversees much of the research, statistics gathering, and technical help subsidized by the department.

Education Week
July 10, 2002

A commission that chooses how to spend tobacco-tax revenues in Los Angeles County is expected to decide next month whether to establish universal access to preschool across the county. Filmmaker and actor Rob Reiner, who serves as the chairman of the state Children and Families Commission, led the campaign to win voter approval of the tobacco tax in 1998.

Education Week
July 10, 2002

If they don't eventually sell their ideas to new sets of decisionmakers, some early-childhood advocates argue forcefully, they will never get what they want: access to school for more children before they reach kindergarten, and higher standards for what they are taught. Forging new alliances—specifically with the nation's colleges and universities—was a front-and-center theme at the June 24 gathering of experts in the field, called "Joining Forces: The Role of Higher Education in Preparing the Early Childhood Workforce."

Kansas City Star
July 9, 2002

The findings of a new study on what keeps former welfare recipients in the work force should come as no surprise. "Staying Employed After Welfare" found that a former welfare mother's ability to stay in the work force is directly linked to the availability of health insurance, affordable child care and a reasonable salary.

The Christian Science Monitor
July 9, 2002

Attending preschool is becoming a prerequisite for children in the United States. While these enrollment trends are encouraging, a nagging question mark hangs over the quality of instruction.

Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah
July 8, 2002

Once overshadowed by primary and secondary education, early childhood education has edged into the limelight in recent years. Sharon Lynn Kagan, a professor of early childhood and family policy at the Teachers College at Columbia University, said repeated studies have shown the difference good early learning experiences make.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
July 7, 2002

Last week the Senate Finance Committee approved the Work, Opportunity and Responsibility for Kids (WORK) Act of 2002, which addresses most of the criticisms of the House Bill. The Senate version provides $30 million for at-home infant care.

New York Times
July 5, 2002

For years, women -- particularly those whose husbands earn a healthy income -- have felt they had to choose between an all-consuming job and staying at home to raise their children. Evidence now suggests that more and more women are finding a middle way that rejects both extremes.

Orlando Sentinel
July 4, 2002

At the current, inadequate funding level, federal child-care assistance covers only one in seven eligible children of low-income working parents. It makes no sense to increase the need for such assistance by insisting that more welfare recipients enter the work force without providing the additional dollars necessary to make it feasible.

The Straits Times
July 1, 2002

A recent mini baby boom in France is putting unwelcome pressure on the education system. One-third of all French children start schooling at the age of two and practically all are in class by the time they are three.

The Washington Post
June 27, 2002

The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation yesterday to revise the nation's welfare system. The measure would restore two forms of help to legal immigrants and provide more money for child care -- although not as much as many Democrats want.

The Advocate, Baton Rouge
June 16, 2002

Louisiana is six months into a major expansion of its previously limited commitment to preschool. Educational research from states offering similar programs suggests that students who enroll in pre-kindergarten, especially children who live in poor families, have an advantage over others who wait until kindergarten or later.