Benny's World

Friday, September 16, 2005

JRE with Tom Kaine, VA

Kaine, former VP candidate Edwards push pre-kindergarten plan


Associated Press, September 9, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tim Kaine toured one of Virginia's oldest early childhood schools Friday with former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards to press his case for universal pre-kindergarten access in Virginia.

Kaine and Edwards, John Kerry's running mate a year ago, said Virginia is missing an opportunity to prepare its toddlers to perform in schools and, later, to compete in a much more demanding workplace.

"This facility is a perfect example of helping get these kids on the right track, and we as a nation need to make a commitment as other nations have done to end poverty in our lifetime," Edwards said outside the Barrett Early Learning Center, which was established in 1935.

Edwards, who is expected to run again for president in 2008, walked through homey, wood-floored rooms filled with toys, children's books and brightly colored rugs in the old converted house where Barrett schools up to 45 preschoolers.

Both men knelt to speak to bashful toddlers huddled behind the center's teachers or their parents.

Kaine has proposed making structured education available to every Virginia parent who wants it, an initiative he estimates would cost about $300 million a year after a four-year, incremental phase-in.

Kaine said the projected expense of the program doesn't take into account the savings he envisions from a reduced demand for remedial education and reduced costs of truancy and juvenile crime.

"We spend at least $5 for remedial education right now for every dollar we put in early childhood education," Kaine said. "All the studies on early childhood education show this is going to pay for itself."


Post a Comment

<< Home