Never mind the long list of groups eyeing the state’s projected $1.1 budget surplus, advocates are betting they can make the case that full funding for early childhood education scholarships for needy families should top the list.
Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, has already introduced legislation proposing to increase the amount of scholarship money available from $20 million to $150 million a year by 2017. The bill would also replace a controversial $5,000-a-year cap on scholarships with a system to award funds according to the average cost of care based on geographic location.
The changes would represent a dramatic step toward ensuring that all 3- and 4-year-olds from low-income families have access to high-quality early education — something researchers are convinced can stop the achievement gap from opening in the first place.
Read more in MinnPost.