Md. Legislators Want To Make Pre-K More Accessible To Children

View Comments
Jessica Kartalija 80x80 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
Read More
Popular Entertainment Photo Galleries

POEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The ControversialPOEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The Controversial

Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.

Top Celebrities On TwitterTop Celebrities On Twitter

Ranking Stephen KingRanking Stephen King

Famous Women Who Underwent Double MastectomiesFamous Women Who Underwent Double Mastectomies

» More Photo Galleries

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A push to make pre-K more accessible to Maryland children is well underway. Senate lawmakers have already voted in favor of a plan to expand the program.

Jessica Kartalija reports now Governor Martin O’Malley is stressing the importance of pre-K to those directly affected.

Pre-K children had an impromptu jam session with Governor Martin O’Malley at Downtown Baltimore Child Care.

“My idea is that every child in Maryland should be able to go to pre-K,” he said.

Right now, Maryland public schools are required to offer pre-K to economically disadvantaged 4-year-olds under governor-sponsored legislation. Grants would be provided to schools to accept more children.

“There is a difference between a child who starts kindergarten with a 3,000 word vocabulary and an 8,000 word vocabulary and that difference is pre-K,” said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

State officials hope the funding will help an additional 1,600 children across the state. Providers could also apply to have half-day programs expanded to full-day pre-K.

“From 60 percent, now we’re up to 83 percent entering kindergarten ready to learn. But with full-day pre-K, that could be 100 percent,” said O’Malley.

During the last school year, more than 26,000 4-year-olds were enrolled in pre-K programs.

“We have been participating and advocating for this all along,” said Margo Sipes.

The governor has already set aside $4.3 million in next year’s budget to cover the cost of pre-K expansion.

Pre-K has been a hot topic among the three Democratic candidates for governor. They all agree, however, on expanding the program to include more children.

Other Local News:

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus