In supporting legislation to expand the access to pre-kindergarten programs in his state, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recognizes the value of investing in early-childhood education to help build a stronger Vermont.
Gov. Shumlin says he will sign into law a bill that will lift the cap on the number of students who can enroll in state-funded pre-K programs.
“This is one part of our plan to get Vermont back on the path to job growth and prosperity,” he said.
The cap, which has been in place since 2007, limited the number of pre-K students eligible to enroll in state funded pre-K programs and forced students into lotteries in school districts whose programs were at capacity. This new legislation will allow more pre-K students to enroll in programs and work to support making high-quality, early childhood education available to all. Shumlin’s courageous stand runs counter to trends in other states.
While opponents in his state argued that the bill will cost the state too much money during tough economic times, Shumlin maintained that investments in early-childhood education will save Vermont in the long run by cutting down on prison costs associated with dropouts who break the law and other social services needed to support those who lack the education to pursue careers.
The Opportunity to Learn Campaign, which firmly believes in the life-changing value of quality early-childhood education and supports this opportunity for all children, commends the state of Vermont and Shumlin for working to ensure that substantial investments are made in that state’s youngest children.