To: Francis Gibson, Lowry Snow, Patrice Arent, Richard Cunningham, Steve Eliason, Greg Hughes, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Daniel McCay, Carol Moss, Jim Nielson, Val Peterson, Marie Poulson, Kraig Powell, Dean Sanpei, Keven John Stratton,
Subject: I support high quality preschool for at-risk kids in Utah - I support HB96!
Date: Wed Feb 05 18:07:22 MST 2014
Dear Members of the House Education Committee:
I am a parent of two, and a teacher for the past 24 years; my daughter is a resource teacher in a local school district. Based on my personal and professional experiences, I strongly support providing preschool for children who are at-risk of not being ready for kindergarten. I have seen firsthand what happens to children who are not ready for school: they fall further behind their peers each year, cost the schools greater effort and resources, and ultimately, do not experience as good an outcome as their peers. They are more likely to drop out of school before high school graduation, and they are more likely to be unemployed after doing so. Their risk for poverty is much higher, as a consequence. We can prevent much of that by providing mandatory pre-school for at-risk children.
Here are more reasons to support HB96:
1) High quality preschool in Utah has been successful in closing the achievement gap and the results persist past 3rd grade and have been evident for several successive cohorts of children.
2) High quality preschool for economically disadvantaged children has been proven to increase high school graduation, increase earnings and self sufficiency, reduce crime and welfare dependency.
3) When low income children are on grade level, it benefits all children.
4) HB96 includes competitive grant funding that will increase the quality of early education programs and improve outcomes.
5) HB96 targets funding for at-risk children, but all children who attend high quality early childhood programs benefit.
I hope you will approve this bill and send it to the floor for discussion and voting.
Thank you for your consideration,
Christina Gringeri, Ph.D
College of Social Work
University of Utah
395 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
(801) 581-4864 (o)
(801) 585-3219 (fax)