MI Business Leaders Seek Greater Pre-School Access

May 30, 2012

A coalition of business leaders says Michigan’s economic future depends on preschool accessibility for children at risk.

The Children’s Leadership Council of Michigan on Wednesday called on policymakers to offer publicly funded preschool to all eligible 4-year-olds. The group said about one-third of the state’s kindergarten children are not prepared to learn when entering school because of inadequate pre-schooling.

Debbie Dingell is a leader of the council, which announced its campaign during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual policy conference on Mackinac Island. She said Michigan has openings for only half of the children eligible for public preschool, while about 38,000 are shut out.

She said about $130 million a year is needed to close the gap. The council recommended making other programs more efficient and spending the money saved on preschool.