But hey, it’s important to punish the people who need it most:
Last year, 53,000 children in the state attended full-day kindergarten funded in part with the grants, which began under Gov. Ed Rendell in 2004-05.
Now Gov. Corbett, who campaigned as a supporter of early-childhood education, has proposed eliminating the grants to save $260 million. Last year, about $200 million of that went to early-education programs, including to expand kindergarten to full-day.
Enrollment in full-day kindergarten has grown from 35 percent of students to more than 68 percent since the state started the grants, according to Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. Philadelphia could lose $55 million in block grants, of which the city used about 90 percent to fund full-day kindergarten for nearly 13,000 students.
Corbett wants to cut funding for public schools by 11 percent, a prospect that leaves districts scrambling to figure whether they can preserve full-day kindergarten.
In a part-day program, Citerone said, there was not enough time to do much writing. The difference by the end of the year is dramatic, she said. Previously, Citerone said, she might have one student in a class reading by the end of the year.
“I didn’t have readers for 22 years,” she said. “Now, over 80 percent go into first grade reading on level or above level. There’s really no comparison. I never thought I’d have children reading.
And right across the bridge, we’re also taking away their health care.