Tri States Public Radio Staff
Tue March 2, 2010
Judge Touts Need for Preschool Money
West Burlington, IA – Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge says the goal of the Chet Culver administration has been to provide access to voluntary preschool for every 4-year-old in Iowa. She says, at this point, about 90% of the school districts in Iowa have received state funding to develop such programs.
Judge says the administration wants to see $15-million set aside in next year's state budget to cover the rest of the districts. She says there is an understanding between House and Senate leadership that the 4-year-old preschool program should continue.
Judge says Iowa's financial struggles should not prevent any child from having access to preschool.
"I don't think anyone who has spent some time in these schools could think anything other than the fact that this is a tremendous opportunity for our children," says Judge.
Judge says the state must make sure Iowa's children are happy, healthy, and ready to learn. She says 4-year-olds are learning at an amazing rate through the state-sponsored programs.
Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge made her comments after visiting a preschool in West Burlington. Principal Dee Crozier says 89% of the children entering kindergarten next year are enrolled in preschool.