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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Tue, Sep 18, 2007

Statement By Geri D. Palast About Low Pre-K Enrollment in the Hispanic Community

Study by Report Pre-K Now and NACCRRA highlights importance of pre-school and shows alarmingly low enrollment figures

I commend Pre-K Now and NACCRRA for their effort to create awareness of the importance of pre-school education, and the alarmingly low Pre-K enrollment in the Hispanic community. Quality Pre-K has been proven to increase high school graduation rates, reduce grade repetition, and reduce the number of children placed in special education. It also helps students outperform peers on reading and math tests at ages 8, 12 and 15, among other benefits. Nonetheless awareness, availability, funding, and access, remain a challenge particularly for high need students in low performing districts.

For years the Campaign for Fiscal Equity has advocated for a long-term strategy to fund full-day Pre-K for all public school students in New York, taught by highly skilled teachers in safe schools and community-based environments. The Contract for Excellence, which made full-day Pre-K one of the five target areas to spend CFE funds, along with the new Pre-K formula, will help create the possibility of achieving this goal. CFE continues to urge the school districts subject to the Contract, most notably New York City, to make full-day Pre-K one of the priorities, and claim these funds now available after 14 years of CFE litigation.

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Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >