Dear Groundwork Team:
Our statewide network knows just how important early childhood education is to closing the achievement gap and positioning all Ohio kids for success early. And while Ohio has made progress, we were reminded yesterday at a meeting of the Ohio House Poverty and Education Taskforce just how much work is yet to be done. We are hopeful that as the Taskforce has identified early childhood as an opportunity for growth, they prioritize the issue as they translate their learnings into policy recommendations.
This week, a presentation from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to the Taskforce made it clear that Ohio is lagging behind in covering 4-year-olds served by State Pre-K, Special Education Pre-K and Head Start when it comes to state investments. NCSL also reinforced that there is a large body of research that shows that low-income students who attend high-quality preschools are less likely to enter kindergarten significantly behind high-income students. NCSL provided other resources including a brief on "Closing the Opportunity Gap in Early Childhood Education".
Now is the time to raise our collective voices to those who are seeking to be our next governor in order to familiarize candidates with Ohio’s early childhood education system. To assist in these efforts, Groundwork Ohio is mobilizing our statewide network to ensure that Ohio's next governor prioritizes early childhood. Last week we took our first formal step in this effort by sending a reference manual to each of the candidates and their staff to review. Included in this manual was a focused collection of high-level research and news media resources that tell a powerful story supporting an indisputable case for increasing state investments in Ohio’s early childhood education system.
We encourage you to use this resource with those who are influential in your community including your state legislators and other policy makers. An electronic copy of this resource has been made available for your use on Groundwork’s website. Click here or on the image below to view the Reference Manual!
Early childhood education is the smartest investment Ohio can make for our kids, families, workforce and economy, and voters expect these investments. Help us spread the word by by inviting colleagues and other like-minded people to join our ranks by signing up for email updates here.
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