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Kenton County Democrats call on NKY Republicans to support pre-K, cite advantages of early learning

The Kenton County Democrats have issued a statement that urges Republicans to support the funding allocated in Gov. Steve Beshear’s budget for universal preschool, pointing out that studies strongly suggest that children benefit from an early learning experience and preschool is an effective strategy for improving later school performance.

That performance can lead to a higher-quality adult labor force which increases wages, employment rates and local economic development, they said.

“The people of Kenton County value education because they know it is the great equalizer. Education prepares our kids for brighter futures and by extension builds more resilient communities,” said Representative Buddy Wheatley. “Kentucky businesses continue to struggle to find employees. Universal pre-K allows more employees access to childcare, and early childhood education prepares children with the essential skills needed to be good employees. We must invest today for a better tomorrow.”

Senator Chris McDaniel, a Republican, tweeted to constituents that his district didn’t deserve funding allocated in Governor Andy Besher’s budget for universal preschool.

Governor Beshear’s budget includes universal preschool for all 4-year olds across the Commonwealth.
“I am mainly disappointed to hear the governor’s plans are largely nothing more than big spending and bigger government rather than helping average Kentuckians as they deal with closed schools and crushing inflation. His cradle-to-grave view of government does not align with the self-reliant nature of our people,” said Sen. McDaniel, Senate Budget Chairman.
According to the National Institute For Early Childhood Research, nearly half of all 3-year-olds and a third of all 4-year-olds in the United States were not enrolled in preschool in 2019.

The same goes for kids in Northern Kentucky, said the statement issued by Democrats:
• Only 35% of kids in the Erlanger-Elsmere School District are Kindergarten-ready when they enroll, compared with 51% statewide;

• 70% of Erlanger-Elsmere students are eligible for free and reduced lunches, compared with 61% statewide;

• Only 35% of kids in Covington Independent School District are Kindergarten-ready when they enroll, compared with 51% statewide;

• 88% of Covington Independent Students are eligible for free-and-reduced lunches, the fourth-most impoverished student body in the state.
Kenton County Democrats are calling on Northern Kentucky Republicans to get behind universal pre-K and provide kids with the building blocks they need to succeed in life and the skills they need to support their communities in the future. Republicans are the majority party in the state legislature.

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One Comment

  1. Col Owens says:

    The importance of preschool education for later success in education and in life has been demonstrated time and again in education research. Gov. Beshear is to be lauded for recognizing this truth snd for addressing it in his proposed budget. That Sen. McDaniel does not recognize this truth or support it, much less say his didtrict does not deserve it, is almost beyond belief. It is simply another piece of evidence that Republicans in the legislature place opposing the Governor ahead of the needs of their constituents.

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