Idaho Democrat Gets Behind Effort To Pilot Public Preschool

Oct 28, 2013

These kids are in Caldwell's P-16 program, it's a public-private partnership among the Caldwell school district, non-profits, and area businesses.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Advocates for state-supported preschool hope to tackle the issue amid increased interest in changing Idaho's public education system.

One Democratic lawmaker will be pushing a $1.4 million pilot program during the 2014 Legislature.

And the Idaho Statesman reports Beth Oppenheimer, of Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, believes more people are recognizing that taxpayer-financed preschool education programs are sorely missing from the state's education offerings.

Idaho legislators, in particular majority Republicans, have been leery of state-backed programs, in part on grounds youngsters thrive at home with their parents.

But GOP public schools chief Tom Luna is rethinking his views on preschool programs, since not everyone comes from a background where education is a priority.

Rather than adopting government-backed preschool, however, Luna favors alternatives enlisting businesses and communities.