AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A state lawmaker is urging Maine to pass legislation that would require every school district in the state to offer pre-kindergarten programs.
Bill sponsor Sen. Eloise Vitelli told the Legislature’s Education Committee on Monday that early childhood education plays a critical role in determining a child’s future.
The Arrowsic Democrat’s bill would create a process to establish “universal” pre-kindergarten by the fall of 2017. Parents would have the option of putting their children in the program.
She acknowledged the costs, but says underinvesting in education leads to higher costs down the road.
Currently, about 60 percent of Maine school districts offer some form of pre-kindergarten.
The Portland Press Herald, reports that acting Education Commissioner Jim Rier says many early education programs are underway and questions whether a bill is required.