Flexer, Reps. Rovero and Rosati Randall Welcome Federal Funding for Early Childhood Education in Killingly
KILLINGLY—State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson) and state Representatives Danny Rovero (D-Killingly) and Christine Rosati Randall (D-Killingly) today welcomed an announcement by U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Secretary John King that Killingly is one of 13 Connecticut towns that will share in $11.7 million in discretionary federal funding to expand high-quality preschool.
The funding will allow Connecticut to expand access to high-quality state-funded preschool programs for 439 children, and to improve the quality of state-funded preschool programs for another 291 children, for a total of 730 four-year-olds who are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line in 13 high-need communities.
The 13 communities include Bridgeport, Derby, East Haven, Griswold, Groton, Hamden, Killingly, Manchester, Naugatuck, Seymour, Torrington, Vernon and Wolcott.
“This federal grant will perfectly compliment the critical state investments that have already been made in early childhood education, and the commitment that Killingly has demonstrated that all children in our town have access to a high-quality pre-school experience,” Sen. Flexer said. “I also want to thank Congressman Joe Courtney and Senator Chris Murphy for their work in helping to secure this federal funding.”
“You can’t underestimate the importance of getting kids started on the right foot, and I think this funding is going to help Killingly keep doing the great job it’s already doing with high-quality pre-school,” Rep. Rovero said. “These types of investments really save us money in the long run by turning out smart, productive kids.”
“I’ve spent a great deal of my personal and professional life working to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity when it comes to pre-school education and a good start in life, and I can honestly say that today’s announcement is going to make a real and positive difference in the lives of Killingly’ s children,” Rep. Rosati Randall said. “These are the types of critical investments that we need to continue making to ensure the health and success of future generations in Connecticut.”
The communities participating in the expansion will have high-quality preschool programs that:
- offer comprehensive services to children and families;
- offer teacher compensation equal to K-12 teachers;
- deepen family engagement practices at the local level;
- forge a seamless birth-through-third-grade continuum at the local level; and
- have an enhanced professional development system offering more targeted and individualized coaching, mentoring and consultation designed to meet the unique needs of programs and teachers within the programs.