Denver shares difficult lessons for Kansas City’s universal pre-K plans

Nov 25, 2015 by

Everything that a visiting crew of Kansas City visionaries wanted was here.

Not the mountains. Not Denver’s robust commuter train system.

The 18 civic and education leaders, all with ties to Kansas City’s Early Learning Commission, came for a long day of learning how Denver pulled off universal preschool.

Specifically, they coveted the strategies that have delivered $77 million from Denver taxpayers since 2007 — a pot of money the Denver Preschool Program has used to put $66 million into tuition and $9.7 million into improving public and private preschools, with more than 36,000 4-year-olds served so far.

And Denver was eager to receive the Kansas City delegation. Education leaders here would love new partners in the push for universal prekindergarten. They want to see Kansas City winning the kind of tax that raises the money that makes a good preschool possible for every 4-year-old, poor or not.

“It should go out into other cities,” said Jennifer Landrum, head of the Denver Preschool Program, “so that other cities can value children and do the same for theirs.”

Know that Denver’s first two attempts at tax elections — in 2000 and 2001 — “failed miserably,” Landrum said, before a successful campaign in 2006 and then a 10-year tax renewal that passed in 2014.

Source: Denver shares difficult lessons for Kansas City’s universal pre-K plans | The Kansas City Star

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.