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Georgia's Pre-K Program Prepares Young Learners
Early reports from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill show that Georgia's pre-kindergarten program is producing good results. More than 500 Georgia Pre-K students were tested in 100 classrooms during the 2011-2012 school year, and all of them showed significant gains in language, literacy, math, general knowledge and behavioral skills.
These results endorse the concept of a universal Pre-K program available to all children, regardless of income or other factors. Bobby Cagle, commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), said that these findings remove "any doubts about Pre-K being 'glorified babysitting,'" and affirm that Georgia's Pre-K Program is preparing students for the K-12 program, placing them on a successful trajectory to high school graduation and on to college or a career.
Governor Nathan Deal emphasized the importance of Georgia's Pre-K Program during his State of the State address earlier this month, and last week, during meetings with Joint Appropriations Committees to discuss the state budget, Governor Deal proposed adding 10 days of instruction to the school calendar, returning the Pre-K Program to 180 days of instruction.
Georgia's Pre-K Program was established over 20 years ago, after voters approved the creation of the Georgia Lottery for Education to support college scholarships and a voluntary pre-K program. Georgia's program has also been ranked by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) as one of the top state programs in the nation based on quality standards, teacher qualifications and enrollment.
About the Author
Sunita Kapahi writes about education, public safety, social services, and transportation for GeorgiaGov. She is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University.