Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Maryland Proposes “Preschool for All” Program

Should early childhood pre-K programs be mandatory?

By now, most acknowledge the value of high-quality early childhood education on preparing a child for the future, but should it be mandatory?

In Maryland, lawmakers are proposing a “Preschool for All” program, in which local school districts would be required to offer full-day pre-kindergarten to low-income kids and half-day programs for other children.

Currently, Maryland public schools only offer half-day pre-kindergarten to 4-year-olds that qualify for free and reduced lunch. Because of this, only 35 percent of 4-year-olds have access to the current half-day pre-K program.

While some counties in the state support the proposal, budget could be an issue in providing the early childhood education.

Early childhood education advocates are hoping for the bill’s passage, as research has shown the long-term benefits of providing quality pre-K to kids, both for the kids and the economy.

Do you think pre-K programs should be mandatory? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook and twitter pages.

1 comment:

  1. While it makes sense to start children earlier, with the budgeting problems of our educational system, I don't see how they can feasibly make this happen. Most school districts have been in a hiring freeze for years now. I know Balt County teachers have not gotten a raise in 4 years and their health plans are being cut down. How would a county that can't afford to pay their teachers expect to institute new mandatory programs such as this without a LOT of state/federal government funding.