preschool

Brian Grimmett

In an effort to help fight intergenerational poverty the Utah Senate passed a bill to provide grants to schools to create or expand preschool programs that serve at-risk children.

Tasha Cook

The Utah House threw its support behind new results-based programs to boost early-childhood education. It’s a concept backed by leaders of both parties.  

Republican Rep. Greg Hughes of Draper says all Utahns have a stake in making sure that all children get a good start at school – even before they’re in kindergarten. His bill calls for investors to foot the bill for expanding early education programs like those in the Park City and Granite School districts. Hughes says the $5 million program will provide opportunities for disadvantaged children

Republican State Representative Greg Hughes is sponsoring a bill that would get about 3,000 at risk-kids into preschool. He says Utah will save money by getting kids better-prepared for kindergarten and reading at grade level. 

Last year, state lawmakers said “no” to this idea– or at least one that closely resembles Representative Hughes’ proposal.

But Hughes says getting more kids into preschool will shave costs for the state, which shells out an additional $2600 per student for kids who need special education and individual attention.

Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County has maintained a conservative budget all while investing in opportunities and community assets for a better future. That’s the message Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams delivered during his annual State of the County Address this morning.

McAdams credits bipartisanship, fiscal prudence and a thriving local economy for the county’s ability to adequately fund arts and cultural facilities, museums, parks, trails and other services.

About 600 at-risk kids in are in Granite School District are enrolled in preschool this year because of a new program made possible with money from Salt Lake County, Goldman Sachs and Chicago investor J.B Pritzker. 

At Wright Elementary School in West Valley City, first-year teacher Lindsay Shackelford says her students are learning about shapes, the alphabet and addition.

File: Head Start

Salt Lake and Tooele County’s federally funded Head Start program has survived the recent government shutdown without dropping kids off the list. The real challenge has been the so-called sequestration. Head Start is a development program including meals that serves 2000 preschoolers and their families through SL-Cap/Head Start.  Joni Clark is the community partnership manager.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says the county can strengthen its supportive role in education by first investing in early intervention and afterschool programs. McAdams was speaking at the county’s first annual Education Summit at the Granite School District headquarters. 

McAdams is looking for ways to double the number of after school programs in the county.

Granite and Park City School Districts are getting a funding boost for their pre-school programs, thanks to an investment deal with Goldman Sachs and Chicago investor J.B. Pritzker. The money will provide hundreds of low-income kids in those districts access to pre-school programs for which they might otherwise be wait-listed.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

A controversial bill that would help create preschool programs for at-risk children failed in the Utah Senate today.