Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

February 26, 2014

Early childhood education worth the investment

(Continued)

THOSE FIRST FIVE YEARS are the most critical in educational development. Kindergarten isn’t about learning how to tie shoes anymore. Kindergarten has become a more critical extension of the entire educational system. The ability range of many of these students can be staggering. Some are dropped off on the first day of kindergarten and can barely speak. Others arrive knowing how to read, write and use a computer. We need to narrow that gap by creating more early educational opportunities for the disadvantaged.

That said, it is responsible for our state leaders, including Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley from Noblesville, to show concern about the costs of state-funded preschool, in this case as much as $200 million annually, Hayden reported. Still, we believe preschool is a worthy investment and feel it could be the early foothold many children need to get their educational climb off to a solid start. It makes sense to us to frontload that investment and avoid remediations midstream.

It is our hope that the study committee will recognize the value state-funded preschool can have in Indiana and a workable plan comes to form for 2015.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results