In the News

Santa Fe Soda Tax Rejected After Record-High Turnout

SANTA FE, NM, MAY 2, 2017 – Santa Fe voters delivered a decisive rejection of a proposed 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages to support early childhood education Tuesday in a special election.

As of 10 pm Tuesday night with votes counted in all but one voting convenience center, the proposal was losing by a near-15 point margin.

The vote capped the end of an intense, expensive and heated debate that saw nearly $1.9 million in direct spending overall from political action committees on both sides as of May 1. More than $1.2 million of that money was spent on opposition to the tax proposal, while a PAC in support of the tax spent roughly $685,000 to convince city residents to vote yes on the measure. Read more.

The Pre-K Imperative

DURHAM, NC, APRIL 28, 2017 – The messages from the Early Education/Preschool Task Force draft report released this week are clear.

To perhaps oversimplify, they are these: High-quality, pre-kindergarten programs can increase success as children enter public schools, in their kindergarten year and beyond. Children in low-income households are most in need of this help, and right now, many of them are least likely to get it with our present capacity. This community has the wherewithal to provide pre-K programs for the most vulnerable and, eventually, to all 4-year-olds. But getting there will be a heavy lift. Read more.

Pre-K Task Force Recommends Preschool for All 4-year-olds in Durham

DURHAM, NC, APRIL 27, 2017 – With 38 percent of its children entering kindergarten without having achieved reading proficiency, a task force that has been working on a proposal to bring universal Pre-K to Durham said Thursday that the time has come to act on a plan to give more low-income children a better chance to succeed in school.

The plan, presented by Durham’s Community Early Education/Preschool Task Force during an afternoon session in the County Community chambers, calls for increasing and expanding quality for Pre-K to all low-income 4-year-olds in 2019. Read more. 

Santa Cruz County Votes to Establish ‘Thrive by Three Fund’

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA, JANUARY 26, 2017 –  At the urging of Supervisors Ryan Coonerty and Zach Friend, on January 24th, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to establish a “Thrive by Three Fund” to help fund effective programs serving very young children (prenatal through age three). The Board Directed CAO Susan Mauriello to dedicate $350,000 for the Thrive by Three Fund in next year’s budget.

A large group of children’s advocates including Mary Lou Goeke of United Way, Dr. Salem Magarian of Santa Cruz Community Health Centers, David Brody of First 5, and community activists Allison Guevara and Shebreh Kalantari spoke at the meeting, urging the Board to make this investment in proven programs that support babies, toddlers and families during this incredibly important time in a young child’s development. Read more. 

 

How did In Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio Win Ballot Initiatives for the Preschool Promise?

How did In Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio Win Ballot Initiatives for the Preschool Promise?

In November 2016, voters in both Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio passed ballot initiatives to fund universal preschool programs.  Part of the public will building effort involved partnering with public media stations ThinkTV and CET.  Watch the programs:

http://www.thinktv.org/education/power-preschool/

http://www.cetconnect.org/education/power-preschool-cincinnati/

Dayton Preschool Board Approves $5.5 Million Budget

Dayton Preschool Board Approves $5.5 Million Budget

DAYTON, OH, MARCH 3, 2017 – Dayton’s Preschool Promise board approved a $5.5 million planning budget for the next 16 months, with about half of that money aimed at improving the quality levels of local preschool providers.

The two main budget categories are $2.76 million to “expand quality” and $1.71 million to “assist families,” which includes tuition assistance. Most of the money comes from Dayton’s income tax increase. Read more. 

Universal Preschool Access Could Help Next Generation Thrive

Universal Preschool Access Could Help Next Generation Thrive

ASHEVILLE, NC, FEBRUARY 24, 2017 – A diverse group of influential local stakeholders is pushing for universal access to preschool in Buncombe County. Styling themselves the Asheville Buncombe Preschool Planning Collaborative, the members aim to make quality preschool accessible to all county residents. The group includes representatives of the Asheville City Schools, the Buncombe County Schools, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Mission Health, A-B Tech and Asheville City Council, among others. Read more. 

New Hanover Schools to Ask County for Three Pre-K Rooms

New Hanover Schools to Ask County for Three Pre-K Rooms

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC, FEBRUARY 17, 2016 – Last year, New Hanover County Schools received 1,920 preschool applications — for 792 slots.

In fact, just 47 percent of the county’s 4,500 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in any licensed childcare program, public or private. When those under-served kids arrive in kindergarten, they’re often behind their classmates and may stay behind all the way through high school. Read more.

Council Schedules March 8 Public Hearing on Soda Tax Plan

Council Schedules March 8 Public Hearing on Soda Tax Plan

SANTA FE, NM, FEBRUARY 8, 2017 – Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales’ plan to impose a tax on sugary beverages to pay for preschool programs cleared its first two hurdles Wednesday when an advisory committee gave its approval and the full City Council agreed to hold a public hearing on the measure.

The 6-1 vote by the City Business and Quality of Life Committee came during an emotionally charged session early in the day that spotlighted the frustrations felt by both advocates and opponents of the beverage tax. Read more.

 

City Leaders Push Soda Tax to Fund Early Childhood Education

City Leaders Push Soda Tax to Fund Early Childhood Education

SANTA FE, NM, NOVEMBER 10, 2016 – Numerous Santa Fe politicians, following a national movement that could put them at war with soda manufacturers, plan to ask voters to increase taxes on sugary drinks to finance more early childhood education programs. Mayor Javier Gonzales and at least three city councilors propose to add a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soda, sweetened teas and other drinks with sugar. Read more.