TQEE Statement on Voluntary Pre-k Funding Awards

“High quality pre-k works – students who are enrolled in quality programs have a measurable advantage over their peers who do not attend pre-k.  The 2016 reforms approved by the Tennessee General Assembly, including the introduction of competitive grants for VPK funding, elevated quality standards across the state for truer consistency of quality.  Tennessee should continue to demand that pre-k programs receiving state investment meet the highest quality standards. The next step is to expand pre-k access for all disadvantaged Tennessee 4-year-olds and commit to a program of higher quality in grades K-3 so that pre-k gains are sustained through 3rd grade.

The fact that almost two-thirds of Tennessee school students are not proficient in English or math in third grade underscores an urgent need for change and a focus on improving early education from birth to third grade. We must be fully committed to improving the quality of children’s early learning as a fundamental strategy to improving Tennessee’ entire public education system.

That’s a policy direction and investment that Tennesseans stand behind, according to a statewide survey conducted for TQEE in fall 2018. Eighty-six percent believe that early grades form the building blocks for all learning, and 94 percent support expansion of pre-k to all 4-year-old Tennesseans.”

You might also be interested in: Reading 360: Tackling Tennessee’s Literacy Crisis

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  • June 22, 2019
    Teresa Fuson

    It is a known fact that the early years are when young children’s minds are like sponges! Everything around them
    Is a learning opportunity especially when children are given the opportunity to attend a Voluntary Pre-K. As a Pre-k educator, I see the need and how it helps so many children. Voluntary Pre-k should be made available to any family that wants this high quality education for their young child. So many families apply for the program and get turned away because it’s based on income. All Tennessee children need this education opportunity! Society is different now days and we need to realize it and shift with these changes and with these families situations .

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