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Education

Why Invest In Preschools? Tacoma Teacher Explains

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Kyle Stokes
/
KPLU
'The standards are increasing — they’re getting higher and higher' for students entering kindergarten, says Tacoma preschool teacher Erin Kling.";s:
"What I'm teaching in pre-K now is what kindergarten was five years ago, 10 years ago. What the kindergarteners are doing right now is what first grade used to be."

When federal education officials revoked Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, they hung a cloud of uncertainty over the early childhood education programs Tacoma School District offers.

Tacoma school leaders used part of $1.8 million in waiver-freed federal funds to start publicly-funded preschools in five additional buildings with significant populations of low-income and English Language Learner students. The loss of the waiver means that money is no longer free to pay for pre-K programming.

Why did they use the money on preschool? We spoke to Erin Kling, who teaches preschool at Stafford Elementary, about why early childhood education is so important:

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