Vallay Varro was a founding state executive director. She now serves as the president of 50CAN.

Last week the House dealt a huge but quiet blow to early childhood education in Minnesota: it cut the part of the education finance omnibus bill that supports Parent Aware Ratings, which help parents find preschool programs that would best prepare their children for kindergarten. The provision would also identify and reward high-quality programs and help low-income families afford them.

Fortunately there’s still hope. The Senate version of the education bill has language that says any increases in funding for early childhood education must be invested in high-quality programs–language that opens the door for the inclusion of a pre-K rating system.

The members of the conference committee need to hear from you that a pre-K rating system can’t wait until next year, especially if we plan to increase funding for early childhood education this year. Those increases will do no good if there is no accountability for how those extra dollars are spent. Please take two minutes to send a letter to the committee now.

Last week was a perfect example of how a smart policy can still die a quiet death if no one speaks up. It’s time to show our lawmakers that wherever our kids are concerned, we will speak up. No plan that helps our kids succeed will die unnoticed—not on our watch.

Please join us in making sure the legislature does right by the state, the taxpayers, and most importantly, our kids.


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