- Legislators and education experts are wary of Gov. Mark Dayton’s $343 million universal preschool proposal, saying that while it's good in theory, there are many logistical kinks to be worked out.
- Dayton's plan is for the state to offer free, all-day class to all 4-year-olds in the state, but concerns abound that there isn't enough space for that many children — especially if existing pre-K programs don't have time to prepare before the expansion.
- According to the Albert Lea Tribune, House Republicans are skeptical of the bill, which would essentially create a new grade for 4-year-olds at no cost to families and put a massive financial responsibility on the state.
While universal pre-K may be a financial burden to the state, it has also been proven to be effective in getting students ready for later grades. And this is especially important in Minnesota, which has one of the nation's lowest preschool enrollment rates. According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the 2012-13 school year, only 15% of 4-year-olds participated in pre-K programs — far below the national average of 41%.
Of course, having a plan that is logistically possible is key. It doesn't make sense to dump millions on an agenda that is unsustainable.