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1. Access to High Quality, Affordable Preschools

Children who enroll in a Pre-K program are:

  • Twice as likely to be ready for kindergarten by age 5

  • 49% less likely to be placed in a special education program by 2nd grade

  • Predicted to triple their achievement levels by age 14

  • 17% more likely to graduate from high school

  • 3 times as likely to attend a 4-year college and own a home

In New Orleans we have nearly 12,000 low income families with children aged 0-4 without access to affordable early childcare programs.

Middle-class parents also find themselves facing long wait-lists for the few preschools available, with tuition rates that rival those of private 4-year universities!

We have to do better for our children and our community. 

While leading New Orleans College Prep, a network of public charter schools, I made early childhood a key priority:

  • NOCP increased preschool offerings by 200% over the past five years
  • The network was the first charter school organization to launch a Head Start program at John W Hoffman.
  • Lawrence D. Crocker and Sylvanie Williams added 40 additional tuition-based seats to existing publicly-funded Pre-K programs in 2016.
  • We developed innovative models for preschool that could be operated cost-effectively, prioritizing low-income families, while simultaneously increasing access to early childhood education for families of all income levels.

Research shows that every $1 invested in Pre-K programs returns $5 to the citizens of a community in the long run. Children who attend Pre-K are more likely to earn more income as adults, less likely to need welfare, less likely to be incarcerated, and more likely to be gainfully employed throughout their lifetime.

As a member of the Orleans Parish School Board, I will use my on-the-ground experience operating preschools to secure more funding and expand preschool capacity throughout our city. Together, we can ensure a bright future for every child by ensuring every family has access to a quality, affordable preschool. 

Ben Kleban for School Board
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