Smart Start? Will Preschool Budget Cuts Damage A Generation?
In recent years, a number of studies have shown that pre-Kindergarten programs can help low-income children succeed in later grades and eventually get good jobs. Many researchers feel that investing in pre-K is the best and most cost-effective way to lift children out of poverty and to build up the economy. The North Carolina program Smart Start offers a variety of services for children ranging in age from birth to five. No other state has gone further in investing in young children, so last year, when legislators in the state slashed the budget for both programs by millions of dollars and made several other policy changes that would have prevented thousands of low-income 4-year-olds from getting a free education, the news upset teachers and child care advocates well beyond the borders of North Carolina.
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