New Commission On Universal Pre-K

By Solomon Leach, Daily News Staff Writer, July 1, 2015

MAYOR NUTTER yesterday introduced the members of a new commission tasked with devising a plan to expand the city’s high-quality preschool options and fund it.

The city’s Commission on Universal Pre-K – overwhelmingly approved by voters in May – consists of 17 members, including five appointed by the mayor and five by City Council. The Rev. Sharon Easterling, head of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, and Loretta Sweet Jemmott, vice president of Health and Health Equity at Drexel University, will serve as co-chairs.

Advocates say research shows early childhood learning is critical to making sure children start school prepared.

“The surest pathway out of poverty is education, but the achievement gap is so wide for so many children that they will never catch up,” Easterling said. “High-quality early childhood education is a game-changer, but we have to find a way to serve more than 25 percent of our kids.”

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