Robyn Freedner-Maguire: Giving kids a chance with pre-K

Investing in universal pre-K (Act 166) was not only the right thing to do for Vermont — it was a smart choice to make.

Proposal to shift more money into pre-K subsidies languishes

The property tax implications of transferring money out of the education fund generated some criticism. The bill also aims to iron out issues with implementing universal preschool.

Report: Pre-K access has improved, but access to childcare is limited

More children are becoming wards of the state, mainly due to the opiate crisis.

Universal preschool rollout hits snag over background checks

Some providers didn’t finish the needed security checks by the start of the school year. The superintendents association says that’s a problem, while the state says affected districts can simply delay the new pre-K program.

Vermont offers universal pre-K this fall

The program starts this fall and is available to all families, regardless of income.

With tax money at stake, who grades Vermont pre-K programs?

If too much is required of early education providers, they could be driven out of business. But getting the most benefit for children means ensuring public dollars are well spent.

Education board asked to offer fix for concerns about pre-K law

House Speaker Shap Smith and others turned to the board after hearing that the law is entrenching economic inequities, although some educators say there’s no hard evidence. Either way, the board chairman says this would be new territory.

Pre-K supporters look for state help when federal money ends

All-day pre-kindergarten helps low-income children be prepared to start school, educators say. But the clock is ticking on programs funded with a federal grant that ends in three years.

Schools struggle to adopt legislative reforms

Many local districts are in a Catch 22. Two of the laws — that mandate pre-K and early college (known as “dual”) enrollment programs — cost money to implement. The third law, Act 46, the school district consolidation law, puts a cap on local school district spending. The end result? Schools that implement pre-K and dual enrollment could be whacked by tax penalties.

Universal pre-K launch examines early education needs in Vermont

Vermont may be one of the early national adopters of statewide public pre-K if the program launches completely next year, but the districts involved in this fall’s rollout are discovering the stumbling blocks in the meantime.

Crossover redux: Lawmakers scramble to meet deadline; key bills given exemptions

VTDigger compiles a rundown of what made the cut: new rules for opiate reporting; Act 250 regulations for oil pipeline and renewable energy projects; a new thermal efficiency program; labeling of genetically engineered food; pre-K expansion.

Pre-K bills are in motion; price tag is main concern

The expansion of pre-K programs would spur a quarter of a cent increase in the statewide property tax for each of the next five years, beginning in fiscal year 2015.