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Early Childhood Education in New York State.


To examine the impact, benefits and funding of Early Childhood Education in New York State.

Roosevelt Hearing Room C
Legislative Office Building

December 8, 2005
10:00 a.m.
Albany, New York


The Assembly majority has always realized that when we invest consistently, adequately and wisely in education, we are also investing in the State's future economic wealth and human capital. That is why we have worked diligently to develop and maintain sound policies that promote school readiness and early intervention for all New York's preschool age children. In 1997, the Assembly majority proposed and successfully passed the LADDER program. Components of this program include a multi-year plan to provide universal access and appropriate resources for the establishment of prekindergarten and early grade class size reduction programs in all school districts. However, since their inception, these programs have never achieved universal access because the Assembly has had to continually fight against the Governor's cuts to the program. In 2003, the Legislature came together in a bipartisan manner to override the Governor's proposal to eliminate prekindergarten and K-3 class size reduction programs altogether.

Nearly 600,000 additional four year olds would have been able to participate and benefit from prekindergarten if there had been a commitment to fully fund these programs. More than 320,000 children in New York State have had the advantage of the Universal Prekindergarten program. New York State school districts have overwhelmingly responded to implementing and expanding a Universal Prekindergarten program. Children in this program begin kindergarten with more of the basic skills needed to succeed and a broader conceptual foundation upon which to build future learning. In a recent New York Times piece, Henry Levin, professor of economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, pointed to the fact that “participation in model preschool programs has been shown to increase academic achievement, reduce dropout rates and lower the risk of teenage pregnancy, drug use and criminal violence. The economic benefits of such programs are as high as $7 for each dollar invested.”

When, in addition, districts offer full day kindergarten and reduced class sizes in grades K-3, children have an even greater advantage in meeting the rigorous demands of the Regents higher learning standards. In fact, many school districts where children have the opportunity to attend prekindergarten have shifted their level of kindergarten instruction to accommodate the advanced level of their incoming students. In today's competitive global market it is important to have a unified education system that prepares students from prekindergarten through college. The Education Committee remains dedicated to ensuring that children receive a solid foundation early in that system so they have the skills needed to succeed throughout their academic careers. This hearing will seek testimony on the impact, benefits and funding of New York's Early Childhood Education programs.

Oral testimony will be by invitation only and limited to ten minute durations. Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact persons listed on the reply form. In order to publicize the hearing further, please inform interested parties of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Steven Sanders
Member of Assembly
Committee on Education


Persons invited to present testimony at the public hearing on Early Childhood Education in New York State are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and return it to:

Jennifer Trowbridge
Committee Assistant
Assembly Committee on Education
Room 513 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: trowbrj@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4881
Fax: (518) 455-4128

box I plan to attend the following public hearing on Early Childhood Education in New York State to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Education on December 8, 2005.

box I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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