Early childhood education initiative admirable
By the Advocate Editorial Board
Feb. 4, 2016 at 10 p.m.
Updated Feb. 5, 2016 at 6 a.m.
At this point, it's become a cliche to say education is the key to a better life. But just because something is said so often, to the point where it's almost trite, does not make it any less true.
Especially critical in this arena is early childhood education, which has been shown to have positive effects for children who enroll in such classes.
But such classes usually aren't available for everyone who wishes to enroll their child in one. This creates a disadvantage for those children who come from disadvantaged situations.
With this in mind, we at the Advocate applaud the efforts by the Victoria Independent School District to have a tuition-based pre-kindergarten program that allows the district to expand its reach in early education
Currently, the state provides funding for half-day pre-kindergarten for eligible students - those who qualify for free or reduced lunch or are unfamiliar with English, homeless, living with a foster family or the child of an active duty military family member.
VISD uses local tax dollars to pay for the rest of the day for the program
This is a great and important effort by VISD to level the playing field and allow students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to take advantage of early childhood education.
This is also a great move by the district since it can help make up the gap that exists for standardized test scores between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers in the district.
In short, this kind of investment by the school district in the lives of its youngest residents is an investment in the future of the community. Better students become intelligent workers, which helps the local economy. And that is an effort we all should applaud.
This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.