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Politics & Government

Bill to provide $6 million in grants for pre-K education

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Dave Thompson
/
Prairie Public

A bill to provide state money for early childhood education will be introduced in the 2015 Legislature.

The bill would provide $6 million for early childhood education grants – at $1000 per child. Providers would apply to the Department of Public instruction for those grants.

State Sen. Tim Flakoll (R-Fargo) says this is aimed at 4 year olds. And he says the funding would not begin until 2016.

"That will allow school districts and providers adequate time to develop quality programs that will both teach children, as well as prepare them developmentally," said Flakoll. "This will allow a seamless transition into all-day kindergarten programs."

Flakoll says this is the result of a study the Legislature ordered two years ago.

State school superintendent Kirsten Baesler says children who receive early childhood education are higher achievers, are more likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to need remedial education.

"Do we want to spend money on the back end, trying to remediate, or do we want to invest in the future, when they are most eager to learn?" said Baesler.

It would be the parents’ choice whether or not to enroll their children in early childhood education.

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