Too many young children in Michigan aren’t getting the foundation of learning they need before starting school that would allow them to succeed once their K-12 education begins. Gov. Rick Snyder is on the right track with his proposals for early education, which highlight the importance of lifelong learning.
It’s a fine line for the state to walk. After all, should the state — and taxpayer money — be more wrapped up in making up for the shortcomings of parents? Probably not. But if the Michigan Education Department narrowly targets funding for pre-kindergarten development to the most at-risk youth and families, and offers guidance to other parents in teaching their young children themselves, it could provide a sturdier platform for these kid’s futures.
In his speech on education last month, Snyder gave some startling statistics. Michigan kindergarten teachers say that only 65 percent of children enter their classrooms “ready to learn the curriculum.”