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Universal Preschool News

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In this section, you'll find editorials, legislation, public policy and trends on issues relating to preschool, pre-kindergarten, childcare and the push toward universal preschool education. Particularly of note are articles concerning the states claim of a compelling interest in compulsory preschool education. Visit often for the latest preschool news.

Academic jump-start: Classes for kids 2 to 5 Ritij Sarvaiya sits at a low table facing his teacher, Anita Hattangady. She shows him pictures and points to the accompanying words. Ritij, by the way, is 3 years old. He is also one of the first children enrolled in Pittsburgh's first Junior Kumon, a supplemental academic program designed specifically for preschoolers as young as 2, although 4 or 5 is the usual age.

The goal of the program, which is controversial in some circles for its methods and its unique academic focus on the pre-K market, is to prepare its youngest clients for kindergarten, in turn positioning them to do advanced work throughout their academic careers.
by Sally Kalson March 13, 2005 [More Results from Post-Gazette]
Opinion: Redwood City School District There's no free preschool The Mercury News reported Feb. 15 that parents in the Redwood City School District will get the first shot at enrolling their children in the county's first "free" preschool classes. Whether one is philosophically in favor or opposed to the concept of universal preschool, selling the idea that it is "free" is misleading at best. Property owners and taxpayers of other venues know who will be footing the bill for those "free" preschools while organized educators statewide are crying to Sacramento for even more money. by Mary Thompson February 17, 2005 [More Results from The Mercury News - [free subscription required]]
Parents go to school on giving kids a good start Police take up the cry to get all 4-year-olds into preschool. The situation in San Leandro is not unique. A statewide survey of publicly funded preschool programs found anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 children waiting for slots in either Head Start, state preschool programs or general child care - all of which serve low-income families.

Sponsored by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, the survey included responses from about 2,800 state programs, a 48 percent response rate.
by Jill Tucker and Katy Murphy February 10, 2005 [More Results from The Daily Review (CA)]
Indiana: Feasibility Study Concerning Mandatory Half-Day Kindergarten In the past nine years, an average of 9,368 Indiana children have not attended public or non-public kindergarten. This represents an average of 11. 1 percent. While only 12 states mandate kindergarten attendance at the present time, this is a new development, and several other states are moving to mandate attendance in either half- or full-day kindergarten. No state mandates attendance exclusively for full-day kindergarten. by Mrs. Pat Taylor-Denham February 1, 1990 [More Results from Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation]