© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

MI Superintendent stresses early childhood education funding

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network


The state schools superintendent says it's important to make early-childhood-development program funding a higher priority in the state. Last year lawmakers gave school districts the option of diverting early child funds to plug budget holes.

Superintendent Michael Flanagan says pre-kindergarten needs to be well-funded because most brain development happens before age four. He says there needs to be a focus on preparing children for college - and that means small class sizes for kids developing in preschool, and introducing larger lectures for high school students.

"I mean my daughter is a high school teacher so she'd kill me for this, but class size is a work issue, not a really a child issue," he says. "And I get that. She's already got 150 kids. But I'm just saying you can reorganize that so there are some courses that really are lecture courses."

Flanagan was joined Monday by researchers and business groups who say Michigan's economy could benefit greatly with a stronger emphasis on early-childhood development programs. They say the state would save money with fewer kids in special education, repeating grades and getting in trouble with the law.

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!