Sen. Sparks helps deliver state funds to send 54 students to pre-k
ST. PAUL, MINN – Thanks to a $50 million additional investment in early education supported by Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin), 54 Austin 4-year-olds will have a spot in a pre-k classroom this fall. The one-time funding was divvied up among 59 Minnesota School Districts and Charter Schools, with $341,911 heading to Austin Public Schools. Sen. Sparks has been a vocal supporter of further investment in pre-k, and says the programming has already helped remove a lot of barriers to getting young learners into the classroom.
“I have spoken with our school administrators in Austin and Albert Lea and it’s clear – pre-k programming is doing wonders for our kids. The programming – because it’s free and available to all students, means that we’re seeing some of the most diverse classrooms in years. That means our investments are working, because our classrooms should be a reflection of our communities. I’m very happy to see this state money come to our local schools, and I hope we can expand this investment in the future, so that ALL Minnesota kids have the same access to high quality, free pre-k programming,” said Sen. Sparks.
The new money is one-time spending dedicated to early education programming. Schools that receive the funds can choose whether they want to direct the dollars to free, voluntary pre-k or School Readiness programming, which is aimed at helping low-income students. According to Austin Public Schools, the new funding will be targeted to help families in need who want and need pre-k for their children.