Column: Senators should embrace, not destroy, Step Up to Quality (Akron Beacon Journal)

By: Michael Douglas Access article


Peggy Lehner got it right in a recent commentary in the Dayton Daily News. The former state lawmaker described the Step Up to Quality initiative for improving child care and preschools as “one of the best things Ohio has ever done for young children and families who work outside the home.”


Lehner served for a decade as the chairwoman of the Ohio Senate Education Committee. She long has been a voice of reason, ambition and accountability for public schools. In this instance, she chastised her fellow Republicans in the Senate majority for retreating from Step Up to Quality.


She used the word “gut” to describe a provision they included in their state budget plan. She called their criticism “uninformed.”


What would Senate Republicans do? With Matt Huffman, the Senate president, in the lead, they propose eliminating the mandates and incentives designed to enhance publicly funded child care programs and preschools. Under their plan, such providers no longer would have to meet standards for higher quality, including curriculum, staff development and community partnerships.


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