In the News

Universal Pre-K Set as a Goal for Forsyth County

WINSTON-SALEM, NC, APRIL 11, 2019 – A coalition of community leaders led by Family Services announced a plan to provide universal early education for every 4-year-old, commonly known as pre-K, in Forsyth County at a press conference at Winston-Salem State University on Tuesday.

A report issued by the initiative, named the Pre-K Priority, cites a 2017 Harvard study that found Forsyth County to be the fifth worst county in the nation — only four Native American reservation counties performed lower — “for helping poor children move up the income ladder.” The initiative’s backers believe that early childhood education is the key to disrupting the cycle of poverty, based on recent discoveries in brain science that show that the first five years of life are a time of rapid and critical physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. Read more.

With Business Buy-In and Property Tax Boost, Charlotte got on Path to Universal Public Pre-K

CHARLOTTE, NC, APRIL 7, 2019 – Five years ago, the civic and business leaders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina discovered that they were building a bustling economy on a cracked foundation.

The region, with a population of roughly 860,000, is home to six Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, including Lowe’s and Bank of America, and universities. Charlotte’s business district is packed with high-rises, museums, trendy restaurants, performance venues and hotels. Cranes tower over construction sites and developers try keep up with demand for offices and condos.

By those criteria, the community was revving.

Then came the 2014 research from Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley that people in Charlotte refer to simply as the “Chetty report,” after one of its authors. Read more.

Mecklenburg County Early Childhood Education Implementation Plan Update

In February 2019, Mecklenburg County, NC published a report about progress toward implementing its 2017 five-point plan to support more access to early education.  As part of the program, the County Commissioners approved $6 million in funding for child care subsidy and $9 million for public pre-k. These efforts have helped expand access to public pre-k for about 600 children in 33 MECK Pre-K classrooms located throughout child care centers in the County. Read more.

Former Microsoft CEO Talks Education Efforts in Dayton

DAYTON, OH, FEBRUARY 5, 2019 –

By Hannah Poturalski  – Managing Editor, Dayton Business JournalFeb 5, 2019, 2:58pm EST Updated Feb 5, 2019, 5:52pm EST

The former CEO of Microsoft Corp. Steve Ballmer was in Dayton Tuesday, touting early education initiatives to improve outcomes for economically-disadvantaged students.

Ballmer, who led Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) from 2000 to 2014, was joined by his wife Connie. The two philanthropists through the Ballmer Group have committed $10 million annually over six years to Cincinnati’s StriveTogether, an education nonprofit. Dayton’s education outfit Learn to Earn Dayton is one of StriveTogether’s “proof point” cities that has been granted $1.5 million over three years from StriveTogether. Read more.

How Sports Betting, Early Childhood Education in Louisiana Might Become an Unlikely Alliance

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, JANUARY 25, 2019 – The sponsor of sports betting legislation said Friday he is open to dedicating revenue from the enterprise for early childhood education, which is suddenly getting a push from a wide range of state and local leaders.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, the president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the New Orleans City Council are all touting the need for new early childhood dollars. Read more.

Commissioners Approve Resolution to Create an Early Childhood Education and Development Fund

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC – On Oct. 30, 2018, Buncombe County Commissioners approved a resolution to create an Early Childhood Education and Development Fund. The resolution sets forth that the County will invest $3.6 million annually, beginning in the FY 2020 budget, and that the investment will increase by 2 percent in future years.

“This resolution is about prioritizing early childhood education and development and helping to create a community where every child has an equal opportunity to thrive and where families have the support they need,” states District 1 Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara. “It’s been an honor to work with fellow Commissioners, county staff, and community partners to prioritize the issue of early childhood education.” Read more.

Cincinnati’s Preschool Promise Initiative Making Progress

CINCINNATI, OH, DECEMBER 12, 2018 – Hamilton County voters approved a levy to fund the Preschool Promise two years ago. It’s key to the local fight to reduce the rate of childhood poverty.

With a target enrollment of 2,000 preschoolers in one year and a new director at the helm, the promise is making progress. For William Dean Sr. and his son, William Dean Jr., the Preschool Promise offers stability. Read more.

Dayton Leaders Share Strategy for Universal Preschool

TOLEDO, OH, NOVEMBER, 18, 2018 –  The sooner Toledo can launch a universal preschool pilot program, the better their chances will be for long-term success.

That’s the message Robyn Lightcap, executive director of Dayton’s Preschool Promise, left with about 70 Toledo community leaders on Thursday.

The group was gathered at United Way of Greater Toledo to hear from Ms. Lightcap and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley about how the city 150 miles south of Toledo is able to offer preschool to all of its 4-year-olds. Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz wants to do the same in Toledo, and he and Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romules Durant invited the experts in Dayton to help point them in the right direction. Read more.

Preschool Promise Cites Success, ‘Much More Work Still to Do’

DAYTON, OH, SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 – Students enrolled in the local Preschool Promise effort made “significant gains in school readiness” in 2017-18, but the program is still struggling to attract more families and close racial achievement gaps, a preliminary 2017-18 recap of work in Dayton and Kettering shows.

Twenty-six of the 73 participating schools and centers improved their “star rating” in Ohio’s Step Up to Quality system last year, and student scores on the Bracken evaluation increased noticeably from fall 2017 to spring 2018. Read more. 

Advocates: Use New Mission Tax Revenue for Early Childhood Efforts, Affordable Housing

ASHEVILLE, OCTOBER 15, 2019 – New tax revenue from the pending $1.5 billion sale of Mission Health opens doors for once-in-a-generation investments — and some of it should go toward early childhood education and affordable housing, advocates said Monday.

Community leaders representing the Family-Friendly Affordable Buncombe initiativeare advocating to use increased property tax revenue from Mission properties to address some of the region’s most significant problems. Read more.