DENVER (CBS4) – Nearly three-quarters of Denver 4-year-olds are enrolled in preschool, one of the highest rates in the country. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wants to expand the city’s program.
Denver residents may vote on a proposed three-tenths of a percent tax increase to expand the Denver Public School’s preschool program to include 3-year-olds and fill the gap between spring and fall to prevent “summer learning loss,” the mayor notes. The city council must approve the measure before it would appear on the ballot.
Hancock says some states use their third-graders’ reading and math scores to determine how many jail beds their going to build. “They’ve been dead on,” Hancock says, implying that education at a young age heads off societal problems decades later.
In 2006, voters approved a sales tax increase to create the city’s preschool program, which has served more than 34,000 children.
“What we know is that when our kids participate in a quality, qualified early childhood ed program, they enter kindergarten ready to learn,” Hancock told CBS4.
If approved, the increased funding will also cover the cuts that occurred during the recession, extended day programming and rising tuition costs.