AREA EDUCATOR REACTS TO BRANSTADS PRESCHOOL PROPOSAL
(Audubon) Governor Terry Branstad unveiled his $43 million pre-school program today. This replaces Governor Culver’s $90 million program that offered free preschool to all four-year olds. The program offers scholarships to low-income families but requires all parents to pay something if they enroll their children. Branstad says he wants to see pre-school but he wants to do something that is affordable and sustainable in the long term and targeted toward families that need it. Branstad says the state cannot afford that program.
Audubon Schools Superintendent Brett Gibbs disagrees.
“I know budget times are tough but I just think that pre-school money is money that is so well spent,” said Gibbs. “I don’t mind them looking for other ways to fund education but I just think they need to find other ways to fund that pre-school program.”
Gibbs says he realizes that times are tough, but he feels this is the best money spent on
“Even if one family can’t afford to send their kids I think that’s a shame and I think we end up paying in the long run,” said Gibbs. “Studies show that those kids need more special-ed services, I just think it’s the best money we spend in this state on education.”
Gibbs says the Iowa Department of Education hired a new director and Gibbs says he would like him to come up with some new and innovative ways to fund education.
There will be a $3,000 annual preschool scholarship for eligible 4-year-olds to help pay for a minimum ten hours of pre-k a week.