There is more at stake when the N.C. Supreme Court reviews whether Judge Howard Manning’s rulings in Leandro should be upheld than just the future of statewide pre-K programs in North Carolina (“Court will decide on NC Pre-K’s future,” Oct 14 news story). The future of our state depends on making sure that preschoolers enter kindergarten and first grade as educationally ready, healthy and eager as we can have them.
The education gap is there before school, and that is where it can be prevented. The competencies and behaviors needed to successfully profit from school are formed before first grade. The costs of intervention and remedial services are markedly less for children who have experienced preschool. The health and development of children are greatly improved throughout their lives when early health, nutritional and special needs issues are discovered and treated early.
If North Carolina can only afford 12 years of public school, then drop the 12th grade. A heck of a lot more important things are learned in pre-K.