Ed FitzGerald Joins Teachers, Parents, Students to Announce His Plan for Universal Pre-K in Ohio
Outside the Early Learning Center in Westerville, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced his plan to bring universal pre-kindergarten to Ohio. Alongside students, teachers, and parents, FitzGerald spoke of the benefits universal Pre-K will have for Ohio’s schools, working families, and the economy.
“I’m proud to make universal Pre-K campaign’s first major policy announcement because it goes to the heart of what has hurt Ohio’s working families over the last four years,” said Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald. “Rather than cutting funds from our schools to fund tax cuts for the wealthy, we will invest in our children to make sure every Ohio family has a fair shot at success. Not only will this plan prepare our students for a 21st century economy, but it will help working families now – by reducing the cost of child care an ensuring Ohio’s children begin their education and their lives in safe, supportive environments.”
A copy of the plan is available HERE.
See what others are saying about FitzGerald’s plan for universal Pre-K:
Izetta Thomas, Preschool Teacher, Columbus City Schools: “Ohio’s children and teachers are being cheated out of positive academic outcomes because so many students start school without a quality early education experience. Universal Pre-K is critical to closing our state’s opportunity experience.”
Lynn Yohem, First Grade Teacher, Copley Fairlawn Schools: “As a first grade teacher, I see everyday how a student’s experience in Pre-K affects their academic and behavioral development. Universal Pre-K is essential to making Ohio’s children prepared for a changing, competitive economy.”
Teri Mackey, Elementary Teacher, Wadsworth City Schools: “The future of Ohio relies on the state’s youth. Instituting universal Pre-K is essential to preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Angela Stewart, Kindergarten Teacher, Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools: “As a kindergarten teacher, I see everyday how a student’s experience in Pre-K affects their academic and behavioral development. Universal Pre-K is essential to making Ohio’s children prepared for a changing, competitive economy.”
Suzanne Bush, New Albany Parent: “Child care and pre-school are a tremendous emotional and financial burden on new families. Under the FitzGerald plan, our children would have access to the quality academic preparation they need, and we could rest easy knowing they’re in a safe, supportive environment. There is no better plan for Ohio’s working families.”
Sherrod Brown, United States Senator: “Universal Pre-K is a no brainer. Aside from the obvious benefits of introducing our children to school at a younger age, this program will also save taxpayer money and prepare Ohio’s economy for long term success. I commend Ed for his leadership on this issue, and I look forward to making it a reality.”
Joyce Beatty, United States Representative: “Investing in early education is essential to lifting urban and rural children out of poverty. I can think of no better investment our state government could make for Ohio’s future.”
Marcia Fudge, United States Representative: “Ed FitzGerald’s universal Pre-K plan will make an immeasurable difference in the future of all children in the state of Ohio.”
Marcy Kaptur, United States Representative: “Early education is an essential investment for Ohio’s future. It ensure Ohio’s workforce will become even more competitive, while saving working families money on childcare costs and preparing our children for academic success.”
Frances Strickland, Former Ohio First Lady: “Adding additional funding and resources toward Pre-K education will only generate positive results. Ed FitzGerald understands that Ohio’s prosperity will be a result of how well our children are taught.”
Tracy Maxwell Heard, State Representative & Ohio House of Representatives Democratic Leader: “All evidence based data points to Pre-K as critical to individual early diagnosis of challenges as well as Kindergarten readiness. To continue to ignore that is to guarantee failure of a segment of public school students. Fitzgerald understands and is committed to this approach.”
Joe Schiavoni, State Senator & Ohio Senate Democratic Leader: “FitzGerald’s leadership on universal Pre-K and economic development makes it clear he’s the best choice for Governor of Ohio. This has been a goal of Senate Democrats for years and with Ed Fitzgerald as Ohio’s Governor, we believe it will finally get done.”
State Rep Teresa Fedor, Ranking Member of House Education Committee: “Early childhood education is without a doubt one of the most effective to make Ohio’s students more educated and more successful in the workplace. I’m excited to see FitzGerald taking leadership on this issue.”
John Cranley, Mayor of Cincinnati: “Ed FitzGerald rightly recognizes that education is one of the most important services a government can provide. Universal Pre-K will help to foster creativity, innovation, and academic success earlier and more effectively in Ohio’s children.”
Frank G. Jackson, Mayor of Cleveland: “Universal Pre-K is vital to the growth and future of Cleveland. It allows teachers and educators to ensure that our children start out on a leveled field. Our success will depend on how well we teach and prepare our children.”
Michael Coleman, Mayor of Columbus: “FitzGerald’s leadership on early childhood education is inspiring, and could make a real difference for children in urban school districts like Columbus.”
Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton: “As lawmakers, there are few things we could do that would make as profound of a difference as universal Pre-K. For both the future of Ohio’s families and economy, it is our duty as leaders to make this program a reality.”
Becky Higgins, President, Ohio Education Association: “Giving teachers the resources they need to create successful, life long learners is vital to an economically secure Ohio. Universal Pre-K and all day Pre-K ensure the Ohio’s students are prepared to learn in our public schools.”
Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers: “Universal Pre-K is the most important action that the state can take to close the opportunity gaps for children entering Kindergarten. This plan will make academic excellence a possibility for all students.”
Joe Rugola, Executive Director, Ohio Association of Public School Employees: “Providing universal Pre-K to Ohio’s children should not be a partisan decision. It is in the best interest of Ohio’s teachers, parents, students, families, and workforce.”
Jerry Greene, Mahoning County Sheriff: “Strong early childhood education programs create stronger schools and safer communities. This program is key to making Ohio resilient for the future.”
Michael McCauley, Guernsey County Sheriff: “Strong schools are invaluable to creating safer communities and attracting more families to our state. There is no better investment for Ohio’s long term stability.”
Liz Lessner, Owner, Columbus Food League: “FitzGerald plan for universal Pre-K provides a strong backbone for the future work force of Ohio.”
Dominic Paretti, Columbus City Schools Board Member: “Providing Pre-K to Ohio’s children helps our children, parents, and teachers. There are no other programs that can simultaneously reduce families childcare costs, prepare our children for academic success, and make sure our teachers have the resources they need.”
Polly Taylor-Gerken, Toledo City Schools Board Member: “As a parent, a School Psychologist and school board member, I cannot overstate the importance of FitzGerald’s plan for universal Pre-K to ensure the future success of our students– and I know it will help the families of Toledo Public Schools today.”
Carol Mohr, Upper Arlington Schoool Board Member: “Fixing Ohio’s education system starts with creating universal Pre-K. Giving our children, teachers, and families the tools necessary to succeed benefits our entire state.”
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Plain Dealer: FitzGerald proposes $500 million universal preschool plan: “Fitzgerald’s plan calls for smaller class sizes and higher education requirements for preschool teachers, he estimates that it would cost between $500 and $600 million annually, an amount that he said could easily be found in the state’s $62 billion budget. Fitzgerald pointed to a paper from the National Institute for Early education Research at Rutgers University to show Ohio lags behind most states in state-funded programs — with Ohio funding only at 2% of preschool-eligible students while Michigan is at 18% and Kentucky pays for 32%.”
NPR: Gubernatorial Candidate pushes to expand preschool as nationwide enrollment dips: Pending he defeats Governor Kasich this Fall Fitzgerald says his “Pre-K All the Way” plan calls for legislation to fund preschool for all Ohio three and four-year-olds beginning in fall 2016 with full implementation by 2018. Despite the growing national attention to the benefits of early childhood education, enrollment in state funded programs is down with 9,000 kids from 2012 having dropped Pre-K education.
AP: FitzGerald backs pre-K access: Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald says he’ll work to guarantee that all Ohio 4-year-olds have access to public preschool by 2018 if he’s elected governor. FitzGerald announced his universal pre-kindergarten plan Wednesday in Westerville. It’s the first major policy initiative of his campaign against Republican Gov. John Kasich.
The Columbus Dispatch: Fitzgerald would invest heavily in pre-kindergarten: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed Fitzgerald said yesterday he would invest $500 million to $600 million a year in state-funded pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-olds if elected. “We know that it works, and we know it’s something Ohio isn’t doing well enough.” said Fitzgerald on Wednesday. Once regarded as a national leader in educating preschoolers, Ohio in recent years has lagged most states.
Cleveland Leader: Video: Ed FitzGerald Announces Pre-K Plan: Ohio Democratic Gubertornial candidate Ed Fitzgerald announced his “Pre-K All the Way Plan” yesterday which bring a sizable investment to Ohio’s children who go to preschool. FitzGerald argues that funding universal pre-kindgerten will have a positive effect on the economy while also benefiting working families.
Dayton Daily News: Democrat in governor’s race backs preschool access: Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald says he’ll work to guarantee that all Ohio 4-year-olds have access to public preschool by 2018 if he’s elected governor. FitzGerald announced his universal pre-kindergarten plan Wednesday in Westerville. It’s the first major policy initiative of his campaign against Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik).
State Impact Ohio: Gubernatorial Candidate Pushes To Expand Preschool As Nationwide Enrollment Dips: Cuyahoga County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald says he wants to make universal preschool one of his top campaign priorities. Pending he defeats Governor John Kasich this fall, FitzGerald says his Pre-K All the Way plan calls for legislation to fund preschool for all Ohio three and four-year-olds beginning in fall 2016 with full implementation by 2018