The Show on KJZZ

Arizona Falling Way Behind In Early Childhood Education

Published: Friday, December 14, 2018 - 3:09pm
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Study after study has proven that starting a child’s education right — and early — is essential in helping them achieve their goals in the future. But, study after study has also shown that we often fail to do this for kids — especially those born into poverty.

The federal government invests billions of dollars each year in programs aimed at bolstering early childhood education. That money goes to the states, and then it is distributed to various departments and then to families.

But a new report shows that Arizona’s system is not working very well. In fact, we rank 42nd out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in this report, which comes from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative.

The Show spoke with the center’s Director, Linda Smith, about how they went about determining these rankings.

And since the governor has control of how these federal funds are distributed, The Show also reached out to Gov. Doug Ducey's office about this.

His office sent us a statement saying that, since 2015, Arizona has invested new dollars to expand early literacy funding for all-day kindergarten and other programs. But, the statement says, “More work needs to be done and we’ll continue working with parents, teachers, principals and superintendents to ensure all of Arizona's students have the resources needed to be successful.”

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