State of the States
Gov. Lingle Proposes Preschool Initiative
Hoping to help more working parents in their search for high-quality preschool for their children, Gov. Linda Lingle of Hawaii has proposed an early-childhood-education initiative that would serve 3,000 of the state’s 3- and 4-year-olds.
During her Jan. 24 State of the State Address, Gov. Lingle said many working parents don’t enroll their children in early-childhood education “because they simply can’t afford it.”
“This means that too many children are entering the school system without the basic skills they need to succeed,” the first-term Republican said.
The governor’s $5 million plan would include direct financial aid to families, as well as incentives to programs that met standards of quality and to preschool teachers who acquired more training than the minimum level required by the state.
Scholarships would also be available to those who wanted to seek degrees in early-childhood education.
The governor is recommending a $2.02 billion K-12 budget for fiscal 2006, an increase of 13 percent over fiscal 2005.
Ms. Lingle is also urging the legislature to strengthen the state’s charter school law by lifting a 27-school cap on the number of the independent public schools operating and allowing them to constitute their own “non-contiguous” district.
Her budget plan includes $31 million for enrollment increases in charter schools in addition to current levels.
She’s also asking lawmakers for an additional $8.6 million for repairs and maintenance for school facilities, and $100 million in bond funds for capital improvements.
Vol. 24, Issue 22, Page 20