Monthly Archives: August 2011

Editorial: North Carolina’s Clear Pre-K Responsibility

News stories and editorials about the state of early education in North Carolina appear almost daily. The Raleigh-based newspaper, The News & Observer, featured another piece in support of quality early education for North Carolina’s youngest children this morning.  An excerpt by authors Erwin Byrd and Lewis Pitts reads:
“North Carolina, in More at Four and Smart Start, developed an early childhood education system of which we could be proud, even as we urged its expansion so that all kids who needed it were served. NC Pre-K, the new name for state-funded pre-kindergarten, can also make us proud, if the court acts quickly to salvage it. The at-risk 4-year-olds waiting in line for classrooms statewide, as well as future 4-year-olds, have a fundamental, constitutional right to the opportunity to receive a sound, basic education. It’s imperative that we all ensure that they get it.”

(Click to continue reading North Carolina’s Clear Pre-K Responsibility )
 

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Lemonade Stand Raises Money for Early Care and Education

MomsRising.org, an organization working to achieve economic security for all families, and Together NC, a collection of more than 115 non-profit organizations, service providers, and professional associations, set up lemonade stands across the state to raise money for children’s causes. Children, parents, and early childhood advocates raised money, one cup at a time, for kids’ programs like Smart Start while also raising awareness about the devastating cuts to these programs.

Recently, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., the organization that leads Smart Start, received a $268.76 donation from a lemonade stand fundraiser!

“North Carolina’s early childhood programs have been a model for other states, because they’ve gotten real results for our children,” said Beth Messersmith, state campaign director for MomsRising.org.“It simply doesn’t make sense to dismantle these programs when we’re trying to set our kids up for a positive future.”

Following the lemonade stands, parents and children delivered the money raised to the Office of State Controller to deposit in the NC General Fund.

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Gov. Perdue Takes a Stand for Early Education

Gov. Perdue speaking to early education advocates in 2010.Today, Gov. Bev Perdue instructed the state agency in charge of North Carolina’s pre-kindergarten program to preserve the high standards, quality and accessibility of this crucial academic program for at-risk children.

The General Assembly’s budget made significant changes to NC Pre-K (formerly known as More at Four). Changes include a 20 percent cut in funding that reduces the availability of the program to at-risk children, a parent co-pay that could charge families up to ten percent of their income, and the transfer of the program from the Department of Public Instruction to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Today marks an important day for early education in North Carolina,” said Dr. Olson Huff, Board Chair of The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc.  “Thanks to Governor Perdue’s actions, that state’s youngest children can continue to benefit from early learning programs that we know improve academic performance.”

“Her decision is backed by years of research that shows learning begins at birth, well before children enter Kindergarten at age 5,” continues Huff. “It is further supported by studies proving that the state’s early learning programs, Smart Start and what was formerly More at Four, are moving education in the right direction, improving our children’s reading and math scores in elementary school.”

“We thank Governor Perdue for taking a strong stand today to ensure a brighter future for our youngest children, especially at-risk children,” says Huff. “Her actions will strengthen the entire education system, benefitting children, schools, and the future of North Carolina as a whole.”

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