Friday, January 30, 2009

 

Governor Strickland highlights early care and education in his State of the State address

groundWork applauds Governor Strickland for highlighting the early care and education system in this week's State of the State address, saying that Ohio needs to move towards a comprehensive system that is aligned from pre-kindergarten through higher education, saying that our system is not a "series of disconnected steps, it's a staircase upwards". In an effort to promote a P-16 education system, the Governor plans to unite all early childhood education development programs and resources into the Department of Education (ODE).

Further discussions with members of the Administration emphasized that although early childhood programs will be brought together under ODE, they will continue to offer services through both public schools and private community providers. Bringing the programs under one roof will also allow the administration to streamline the standards and reporting requirements of the various programs, improving efficiency and quality throughout the system.

Also included in Governor Strickland’s education proposal was the implementation of mandatory full-day kindergarten for every child in Ohio. Currently, slightly more than half of Ohio’s children participate in a full-day program. Research has shown that full-day kindergarten can reduce grade retention by 26 percent. This would represent a significant cost savings for Ohio’s K-12 system, which spent $43 million in 2006 on grade retention for students in kindergarten through third grade alone.

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