By Aaron Kunz
On the show this week I spoke with Priscilla Salant, director of the McClure Center for Public Policy Research and Rod Gramer, president of Idaho Business for Education about a conversation that is happening over early education in Idaho. According to Gramer, Idaho is one of 6-states that don’t have a state sanctioned Pre-K program.
In the report which you can read for yourself at the link below, there are roughly 146,000 children under the age of 6 in Idaho. While the report points out a lack of a comprehensive system to track this kind of thing. There could be as many as 83,000 children that live in homes where both parents work outside the home. While it’s unknown what kind of opportunities these kids have to develop essential skills that will aid them when they start kindergarten. We do know the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) shows that only 54% of Idaho’s kindergarten kids enter school ready to start reading at grade level.
On Monday May 4, 2015 – the McClure Center for Public Policy and Research based at the University of Idaho and the Andrus Center based at Boise State University will lead a public discussion about early childhood learning at the Riverside Hotel in Boise. The event starts at 8am to will run through 4pm and will include time for questions from the public in attendance. This conversation isn’t entirely aimed at Pre-K and it will include debate on funding from sources outside Idaho taxpayers.
You can read the Early Childhood Learning by the numbers at the report in the link below.
Watch the full May 1, 2015 Idaho Reports show here: http://video.idahoptv.org/video/2365480943/