One of the O'Malley-Brown Administration's key strategic goals is driving up the number of children entering kindergarten fully ready to learn. Governor O'Malley today issued the following statement after the Maryland House of Delegates voted in favor of the O'Malley-Brown Administration's pre-kindergarten expansion bill, which would establish a competitive Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Grant Program and Fund, through which schools systems and community-based providers can apply to expand and enhance existing pre-kindergarten programs:
"Over the last seven years, we've made the better choice to to strengthen and grow our middle class by expanding access to high-quality education for Maryland families -- and we've seen better results: today we have made the greatest gains in low income student achievement nationwide. With the passage of this bill by the General Assembly, we'll ensure that every child in our State has the resources they need to compete not just nationally, but globally as well."
Editor's Note: The Administration's FY15 budget invests $4.3 million to fund the program, which is expected to support half-day or full-day pre-kindergarten programs for approximately 1,600 additional children across the State. The O'Malley-Brown Administration set a goal to improve student achievement and school, college, and career readiness in Maryland by 25% by the end of 2015. The Administration announced recently that in 2013-14, 83% of Maryland children entered Kindergarten fully ready for school, a more than 38% increase (up from 60 percent) of 2005-06.