Calling for States to Adopt High Quality, Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Children Ages Three to Four
AS AMENDED REPRESENTATIVE MINNIE GONZALEZ (CT) INTRODUCED NATIONAL SUMMIT EDUCATION TASK FORCE
WHEREAS, Latinos and other communities of color have many more children from low-income families and who are English language learners; and
WHEREAS, children who are low-income, English learners become students with higher needs than their wealthier and natively English-speaking peers; and
WHEREAS, high needs children enter kindergarten and formal schooling less ready to succeed in school and in life; and
WHEREAS, the resulting “achievement gap” between children with high needs and their peers has negative long-term effects on these children throughout school and into their adult lives; and
WHEREAS, research based high-quality pre-kindergarten reaches kids before age five—during their period of vital brain development—and teaches them both how to learn and how to love learning while cultivating essential skills they need for success; and
WHEREAS, a robust body of research demonstrates that research based high-quality early learning and development programs and services can improve young children’s health, social emotional and cognitive outcomes, and enhance their school readiness; and
WHEREAS, research demonstrates that such programs and services can help close the school readiness gap that exists between children with high needs and their peers at the time they enter kindergarten; and
WHEREAS, research documents that children enrolled in research based high-quality early childhood programs were more likely to attend four-year colleges, have delayed parenthood, and be gainfully employed as adults;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators calls upon each of the fifty state legislatures to introduce and adopt legislation that requires universal, research based high-quality pre-kindergarten for all three- and four-year-olds in their respective states; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the legislation creating universal pre-kindergarten in each state increases access, equity and the high quality necessary to help ensure that every child in that state enters kindergarten with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions they need to be successful.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the laws requiring universal pre-kindergarten should also require close collaboration between providers, schools, school boards, and the community in order to best meet the community’s needs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that universal, research based high-quality pre-kindergarten for all three- and four-year-olds in a state be in place within five years.
THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED AND RATIFIED ON NOVEMBER 17, 2012 AT THE NHCSL ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO.
Sponsored by: Representative Minnie Gonzalez (CT)
Representative Brenda López de Arrarás (PR)