In the midst of tremendous political uncertainty and unease this week, a unified voice echoed our call and joined the national conversation on pre-k in the pages of USA Today. The authors were two very unlikely bedfellows: former Democratic California Congressman George Miller and former Republican Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
“We are convinced that supporting early childhood development is an issue that can unite both political parties,” Miller and Santorum write. Not only is the nation desperate for such “meaningful solutions” that can bridge ideological divides, but boosting high quality, affordable early learning programs are critical to the notion of equal opportunity.
The fact that many states making such investments are led by fiscally conservative Republican governors and GOP-dominated legislatures shows it’s a bipartisan winner, they say.
Oklahoma’s highly coveted universal pre-k program may have been authored by a Democratic legislator several years ago but his Republican colleagues and Governor made it a reality and the program thrives today.
Here in Pennsylvania, we’re seeing 6,000 new, high quality pre-k seats thanks to broad bipartisan support, including strong leadership from Governor Wolf.
Just this week, State Senator Tom McGarrigle and State Representative James Santora accepted our invitation to come face to face with a decidedly unpredictable audience: a classroom of preschoolers.
Over the past two budget cycles, McGarrigle and Santora supported the expansion of Pre-K Counts slots. (The legislators took turns reading at Today’s Child in Delaware County.)
So too have Democratic legislators. Last October, Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky’s Delco roundtable on pre-k included Senator Bob Casey, PCCY and educators.
The Commonwealth’s infamous budget process is primed for another tumultuous cycle as the grim specter of pensions and a substantial budget shortfall is already the talk of Harrisburg.
A stitch in time saves nine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Give a man a fish, teach a man to fish…
Whatever the preferred adage, the wisdom certainly applies to pre-k. Republican, Democrat or Independent, surely we can all agree injecting wisdom into our political processes ought to be a high priority.
Did you know Senator Bob Casey joined 9 other senators calling for the release of 17 families illegally detained at Berks County Detention Center for over a year?
Call Sen. Casey to thank him for his leadership and urge him to submit a private bill to hasten their release! 202-224-6324
“I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.” Betsy DeVos, when asked if she agreed that guns don’t belong in schools.