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CLEVELAND MAYOR, CMSD CEO, COUNTY EXECUTIVE ANNOUNCE PLANS TO EXPAND PRE-K IN CITY OF CLEVELAND

PRE4CLE plan calls for expansion of high quality pre-K to children in the city

4/9/2014, 11:44 a.m.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – The Cleveland Pre-K Task Force announced PRE4CLE, a plan to expand access to high-quality pre-K programs to children in the City of Cleveland. PRE4CLE is a major next step in implementing Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools.

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, PRE4CLE will increase the number of high quality pre-K seats available for four year olds in the City of Cleveland whose families want them to attend high-quality preschool. The plan will be rolled out to three year olds at a later date.

Plans are underway to help families address tuition and transportation concerns. Under this plan, in 2016, it is expected that at least 2,000 additional four-year old children will have enrolled in high quality pre-k.

Full implementation of the plan is expected to cost $15 million in the first year; public and private funds are being secured to fund the first year, including a two-year, $1 million commitment from Cuyahoga County. PRE4CLE will help pre-K providers meet state quality standards and work with the community to connect parents and families to available high-quality pre-K seats. Pre-K will be available at both CMSD schools and private providers that meet strict quality standards. Provider participation is voluntary; participating providers must

have at least three stars under the state of Ohio’s Step Up to Quality consumer rating system.

The plan calls for helping providers meet and exceed that threshold. “Every child deserves an excellent education, and a high-quality preschool program is the place to start,” said

Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “With PRE4CLE, we are taking an important first step in expanding access to high-quality preschool and working to fulfill one of the key goals of the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools.”

Quality is the cornerstone of the pre-K plan, said Eric Gordon, CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan School District. “The goal here is to ensure that every child in the City of Cleveland will enter Kindergarten ready to succeed in school,” Gordon said. “The Cleveland Plan seeks to ensure every child in Cleveland attends a high quality school and every neighborhood has a multitude of great options from which families can choose. A fundamental part of improving the quality of our schools is offering high quality pre-K because prepared Kindergarteners

eventually become well prepared high school graduates.”