09/25/2008 - Faced with a slowing economy, Fairfax County early education advocates are picking up the pace to keep pre-kindergarten a priority.
At a forum of regional business leaders, philanthropists and educators last week in Tysons Corner, local officials argued that funding early childhood education pays off.
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Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) campaigned in 2005 on the principle of universal access to quality pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-olds but pared down his vision (and price tag) to expanding access for children from low-income families.
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"He's getting the pieces in place, so when there is money, it will happen," said Libby Doggett, executive director of Pre-K Now, a District-based advocacy group, who spoke at the forum.
Doggett said that the push for pre-kindergarten might slow because of financial strains but that it is unlikely to stall. According to an analysis by Pre-K Now, 32 states, including Virginia, increased spending in pre-kindergarten programs for this fiscal year, despite the economic downturn.
Read the full article Advocates Say Early Education Is a Good Investment on the Washington Post's Web site.