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Early Learning NOW Delivers BIG Wins for Children, Families, Teachers & Schools

The Challenges:

  • 52% of Virginia’s Children are NOT ready for kindergarten in literacy, math, social skills and self-regulation (VKRP, Spring 2021).
  • More children are entering kindergarten without key readiness skills (VKRP, 2020).
  • Many kindergarteners and first graders are at high-risk of reading failure.  This will impact third grade reading outcomes for years (PALS, 2020).
  • Black, Hispanic, economically-disadvantaged and English learners are at higher risk of reading failure (PALS, 2020).
  • Third graders not reading on grade level are more likely to drop out of school (National Conference of State Legislators, 2019).

 

 

Policy Recommendations:

  • Preserve the historic investments and transformative policy changes.
  • Protect the dedicated funding (40% of net profits) from the sale of marijuana.  Over 20,000 at-risk children will have access to quality early learning programs.
  • Improve the funding formula to meet the increasing cost of quality to ensure equitable access for early learning programs, K-12 and higher education.
  • Build out the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) longitudinally in grades first through third and provide a train-the-trainer model approach with strategies for teachers.
  • Create an innovative ecosystem to drive quality in early learning programs.
  • Provide high-quality curriculum, professional development, and coaching models to improve teaching and learning in the classroom (early learning to third grade).
  • Replicate and scale the STREAMin3 model (curriculum, professional development, coaching, CLASS & VKRP preschool version).
  • Expand The New E3 School Model in Virginia.
  • Increase capital funds to leverage public and private dollars to build capacity and expand existing early learning programs.
  • Increase the number of teachers in every classroom to differentiate instruction and overcome learning and reading gaps.
  • Bridge the gap of middle-income families that do not qualify for publicly-funded programs.
  • Increase funding for the G3 program for early educators to strengthen the workforce pipeline.
  • Increase flexibility with the funding formula to account for enrollment fluctuations.