3-year-old program, teacher raises, supported at school budget hearing

Elizabeth Cogar

by Elizabeth Cogar

KILMARNOCK—A public hearing on a draft of the 2019-20 Lancaster school budget attracted less than a dozen county residents on March 5, three of whom made comments.

All three spoke in favor of keeping the early childhood education program for at-risk 3-year-olds. Earlier, the program’s $225,839 line item in the new budget was targeted for possible elimination to save money.

To demonstrate the success of the 3-year-old program, White Stone resident Bill Warren distributed to the board a chart showing the annual achievements of participating students since the program’s inception in 2012. Average Brigance test score gains have ranged from 72% to 124% with some 3-year-old students improving as much as 295% during the school year.

“We’re capturing 24 at-risk kids a year and helping them get on equal footing,” Warren said. “Our first class of children who came through the program raised scores for their entire 3rd grade class, proving that 3preK works.”

He reported that primary school teachers are seeing….