Promises Made, Promises Broken
Release Date: April 3, 2012
In Fall 2010, Governor Corbett (then a candidate) spoke of his commitment to early childhood education in Pennsylvania. A two-minute video captured his commitment to expand resources for quality early learning to serve more children.
Yet his proposed cuts for this year, plus those of the previous year, add up to a 14% cut in early childhood education. This is a real blow to an underfunded system, including the elimination of TEACH scholarships, fewer children enrolled in Pre-K Counts, and less eligible low-income working parents receiving child care subsidy.
The time is now to remind our leaders in Harrisburg of Governor Corbett's promise to increase resources for quality early childhood education and care. Here are the Governor's words and suggested action steps, with additional talking points at the end.
The Governor needs to act on what he believes.
Governor Corbett: "I...believe that early education is the foundation to all education that follows."
It's possible to find resources to increase funding.
Governor Corbett: "I know that we have programs like Pre-K Counts and Keystone STARS that have shown success and will continue to show success, and as Governor we will work with the legislature to find the funding...to continue the program and to encourage growth in that program, and to find more funding for that program."
Action: Spread the word about the Governor's commitment to work with the legislature to find resources for early childhood by sharing the video with your networks. Our goal is 2,500 views by Action Day - help us get there!
To continue to be a leader, Pennsylvania needs to protect and grow its early learning system.
Governor Corbett: "Pennsylvania is a leader among the states in early childhood education and ... we need to find the funding to continue that and to improve that as much as we possibly can."
Action: Send our legislature and Governor the message "Don't Leave Our Children Behind" activity. This tree activity, with leaves from the children, captures the importance of Pennsylvania's whole early learning system-a nationally recognized model.
Long term success requires short term action.
Governor Corbett: "I believe that in the long term we will see great success by investing in our children, in their futures, early, before they go to school, so that we will see reduction in costs of other programs like special needs and special education, down the road."
Action: Ask your legislator to restore funding for early childhood education to last year's funding levels. Visit your legislator in their district office and/or register for Early Childhood Action Day on May 1 to raise your voice for an investment in early childhood today for Pennsylvania's future.
- Governor Corbett should keep his promise to early childhood.
- Restore this year's early childhood education budget to last year's funding levels.
- Education is the foundation of a strong economy. Any cuts to education hurt the commonwealth's efforts to build a competitive workforce, but cuts to early childhood education are particularly detrimental.
- If our goal is to get the greatest return on investment from every tax dollar, early childhood education is our smartest investment. Initiatives like Child Care Works, Keystone Stars, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program and public school pre-kindergarten are among the most cost-effective investments we can make in education.
- We know quality early learning opportunities help at-risk children catch up to their peers and reduce long-term costs in areas like remedial instruction and special education.
- We know every dollar invested in early childhood saves much more later on, not only by reducing education costs, but also by reducing dropout rates, crime and incarceration.
Let's not cut down Pennsylvania's children's opportunities for success!