Support SB 2179 / HB 2201
SB 2179 / HB 2201 will give parents more choices and children more opportunity!
With more than 75 percent of Tennessee school districts citing wait lists, there is an urgent need to expand Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K program. Join us in support of SB 2179 / HB 2201, which would use sports betting revenues to make this important program available to more Tennessee 4-year-olds whose parents choose for them to attend.
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Like many of your constituents, I am concerned about the future of public education in Tennessee. We need to be investing more in early literacy, math and social skills in Pre-K through third grade.
In particular, there is an urgent need to make the Voluntary Pre-K program available to all Tennessee 4-year-olds whose parents choose for them to attend.
This is why I am taking the time to write today to urge you to SUPPORT SB2179 / HB 2201, which would use sports betting revenues to make the state’s voluntary Pre-K program available to more families.
Parents across the state have spoken loudly in support of this program – with Pre-K wait lists in more than 75% of school districts. Plus 87% of Tennessee voters across partisan lines support increased investments in the program.
Giving working parents more choice and our youngest students more opportunity by expanding this program and prioritizing additional Pre-K investments will help us improve on the dismal fact that 68% of Tennessee third graders are not proficient in reading or math.
Research has repeatedly shown that the first eight years of a child’s life are a critical developmental period, and third grade is widely acknowledged as a benchmark year that determines future academic success. When children aren’t proficient by third grade, they tend to stay or fall further behind. As a result, they are four times more likely to drop out of high school and 60% less likely to pursue a college degree. We also know that early investments are likely to avoid later costs, such as remedial education, health care and criminal justice system expenses.
Expansion of our Voluntary Pre-K program is long overdue. It’s a proven tool for academic success, with demand and support from parents across Tennessee. Investments in Pre-K are investments in the workforce of tomorrow.
Give parents more choices and give children more opportunity. I urge you to support the use of the sports gambling revenues for Voluntary Pre-K expansion.