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Results of Our Work:  BIG Wins for Kids!

2021

General Assembly Session:

  • E3 leads advocacy for early education through the Early Learning NOW campaign.
  • $85m for early learning previously unallocated from the 2020 budget is fully restored.
  • 40% of the net profit from the sale of marijuana provides dedicated funding for over 20,000 at-risk children to have access to high-quality early learning programs.  This could result in $80-$120m in dedicated funding.
  • $11.1m to increase the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) per pupil amount from $6,326 in FY21 to $7,655 in FY22 to improve quality.
  • $5m in FY22 to recruit and retain early educators (Early Educator Recruitment and Retention Incentives).
  • $444k to increase access for 3-year-olds.
  • $642k to allow flexibility for early learning programs (class sizes, ratios, and meeting the needs of working families).
  • $205k for the Deputy Superintendent of Early Childhood position in the Department of Education (DOE) to oversee early learning and provide leadership.
  • $300k to expand the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) to preschool classrooms.
  • $300k to eliminate waitlists in VPI.
  • $36m for the G3 program (part of the funds will support early educator workforce training).
  • Language to increase access through partnerships between private programs and school divisions.
  • Language to expand access for special education children in VPI.

 

2020 Special Session biennial budget includes:

  • $37.3m restored for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), the state’s program for at-risk four-year-olds.
  • $3.0m for the Early Educator Incentive Program to attract and retain teachers.
  • $60m in federal funds directed to support early education programs during the health crisis.

 

COVID-19 Health Crisis:

  • E3 leadership, The New E3 School and other early education stakeholders provide expertise in developing guidelines and protocols during the health crisis.
  • E3: Elevate Early Education and Early Education Matters campaign supporters push for the Northam Administration to secure $10m in GEER funds to increase access and improve quality for children.  Governor Northam is the only governor to allocate GEER funds to early education.
  • The STREAMin3 pilot continues amid COVID for another year with private funding.  82 programs remain in the pilot.

 

2020 General Assembly Session:

The budget and legislative package including $85m for early education priorities and historic policy changes passed with bipartisan support.  As part of the legislative package:

  • An Early Childhood Advisory Committee will advise the Board of Education and focus on the quality rating system and transition of licensing and subsidies.
  • The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) teams will collaborate to transition early education to VDOE by July, 2021.

 

The historic investment of $85 million in early education for Virginia’s children includes funding for:

  • Transitioning early education from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
  • Increasing access to quality for all children in publicly-funded programs.
  • Improving quality in the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) for at-risk children.
  • Expanding VPI to three-year-olds through a mixed-delivery program.
  • Increasing VPI per pupil amount.
  • Aligning the health, safety (currently 727 regulations) and quality standards for licensed programs under VDOE.
  • Providing support to attract and retain early childhood educators.

 

These funding priorities are critical pieces to making whole our efforts to improve access, quality, equity and a lasting impact for early education in Virginia.

Special note:  We applaud the efforts of Governor Northam and the General Assembly for calling a budget timeout amid the COVID-19 health crisis to reassess the economic damage and outlook for future state revenues.  Governor Northam acted on over 1,200 pieces of legislation including HB1012 and SB578.  This legislation moves policy in the right direction to improve access, quality and equity for Virginia’s children and families.  Sadly, the budget amendments proposed by the governor unalloyed the $85m to support the historic early education investments and all new funding given the economic uncertainty and the need for a revenue reforecast.

 

2019 Legislative Results:

  • E3 launches the Early Education Matters advocacy campaign and nonpartisan coalition to advance our legislative priorities.  The campaign and growing coalition works to advance early education for all children in the areas of access, equity, quality and impact.
  • VPI classrooms in 123 school divisions are observed using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) observation tool that measures teacher-child interactions across learning domains.  All classrooms will be using a vetted curriculum (from a state-determined list per JLARC) by 2021.
  • All kindergarten classrooms across the state are mandated to participate in the pre-assessment (fall 2019) and post (2020).
  • 44% of Virginia’s kindergarten students enter school not ready.
  • 112 classrooms in private, faith-based, VPI & Head Start programs pilot the curriculum, professional development, coaching and assessment model developed by UVA in The New E3 School.  11 communities, 1,500+ infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and 207 teachers impacted

    $142m Public and $35m Private Dollars Invested in Early Education.

    *This does not include the potential $80-$120m in dedicated funding.