North Carolina can no longer ride the coattails of Smart Start’s success. We’ve fallen hard and fast. Long held up as the model for other states on early childhood learning, NC is now listed as one of only five states proposing to cut early childhood learning funding in FY10 according to a new report by PreK Now.
When you read the report, it’s tough to let policymakers get away with using the economic crisis as an excuse. It says, “By a margin of four to one, governors of the nation’s most fiscally challenged states are increasing or protecting funding for early education.”
The cover letter says, “The majority of governors are prioritizing pre-k, and though more modest than in recent years, gubernatorial proposals for FY10 still call for increasing state early education investments by almost 4 percent to $5.4 billion, nationally.
“Nine states and D.C. anticipate increases through their school funding formulas. In the minority are five governors who are proposing shortsighted decreases to their states’ pre-k investments.”
Is this what NC will now be known for? Contact your legislators this weekend. Tell them now is the time for strong leadership.