This is the very, very beginning,” an administration official said on background, noting that no one is authorized to provide official comment at this stage. “This is about laying out a framework and laying out a charge.”
The first several years of a child’s life are considered the most important for brain development and should ensure greater success in later grades, officials said.
When he was D.C. Council chairman, Mr. Gray pushed legislation in 2008 that expanded the city’s educational offerings to 3- and 4-year-olds, coinciding with a national trend to serve students before they reach kindergarten. The pre-K offerings became popular and were cited as part of the reason why some parents from neighboring states sneak their children into D.C. schools without paying tuition.
Mr. Gray focused on early childhood in recent public remarks about education, a priority of his administration alongside jobs and economic development, fiscal stability and public safety.
“I don’t have any reservation in saying at this stage that the District of Columbia is an absolute leader in early-childhood education,” Mr. Graysaid at a Nov. 16 briefing in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Ward 7. “We are the only city in America, to my knowledge, that has a universal pre-kindergarten program.”
He also signaled that the city would be shifting its focus toward infants and toddlers with a rollout of announcements in coming weeks.
I’m curious how they fund this, what standards are used, and how the teacher pay compares to other teachers in the area.