In last Tuesday’s election, Ohio voted to allocate funds to expand early education for our smallest citizens. Issue 44 in Cincinnati and Issue 9 in Dayton will provide funding for preschools in those cities.
The property tax increase funding Issue 44 in Cincinnati will generate $48 million each year for five years, of which Cincinnati Public Schools will receive $33 million. The United Way of Greater Cincinnati was selected by Cincinnati Schools as the entity to oversee the remaining $15 million, designated for creating a Preschool Expansion Organization (PEO) benefitting early education. This new funding opens as many as 6000 new spaces for preschool children to receive early education.
The PEO will not only oversee the public
The income tax increase funding Issue 9 in Dayton will last 8 years and generate $11 million, of which $4 million is designated for preschool tuition assistance, as well as improving the quality of preschool programs.
Robin Lightcap, the executive director of Learn to Earn, an organization that backed the increase, stated, “we’ll be providing very intensive coaching in the classroom … making sure that they have a high-quality curriculum in place and effective classroom behavioral management systems.”
The goal of this new funding is to provide early education opportunities for every 4-year old in the Dayton.
Preschool is also a focus in Columbus. Columbus City Schools opened it first and only all pre-kindergarten building in October. Housed in the former North Linden Elementary School, The Linden Park Neighborhood Early Childhood Education Center opened Oct. 3.
This is also the only building in the district in which both public and private teachers are running classrooms. District teachers are teaching in four classrooms and teachers from the Child Development Council and Columbus Early Learning Centers teach in the school’s other two classrooms. Principal Candace Nespeca is responsible for all six classrooms. She was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch, “We’re all within the same building collaborating, sharing professional development, sharing best practices to combine efforts and bring together everything we do well.”
Classes in this new preschool building are free to those students attending. They have classes all day with both breakfast and lunch provided.
The Ohio Department of Education is also targeting early education, as it seeks to add $40 million to its budget this year to expand preschool in Ohio for children from low- income families.