2003-03-15 / Community

Pheffer Wants To Make Pre-K The Law

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer introduced an amendment to the state constitution that would make pre-kindergarten and kindergarten a permanent part of New York’s education system, guaranteeing all students a head start on academic achievement and future success.

"The governor’s budget proposes education cuts of historic proportions that would lock 60,000 kids out of pre-kindergarten," said Assemblywoman Pheffer. "We must not allow our children’s futures to become victim to the governor’s wrong-headed budget choices. This amendment ensures that every child in New York can reap the tremendous benefits of a quality pre-K program - benefits that reach far beyond the classroom."

Research shows that children who attend pre-K programs have higher reading and math scores and are more likely to enjoy long-term academic success. And, according to a recent study by Chicago’s Child-Parent centers, kids who attend pre-K are 70 percent less likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18.

"Pre-K is making a real difference for our children, and now is the not the time to strip it away from them," Assemblywoman Pheffer said. "Now is the time to strengthen the foundations upon which success is built."

The amendment is similar to a recent law adopted overwhelmingly last year by Florida voters. According to the Education Commission of the States, 43 states offer pre-kindergarten programs.

"It’s high time that the children of New York were guaranteed access to the advantages of early education," Assemblywoman Pheffer said. "I stand firm in my commitment to our children, to their education, and to the future."

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