Proposal for free universal Pre-K goes before Toledo City Council

in School

TOLEDO, Ohio — Free, universal pre-kindergarten is something Toledo has heard about for years.

After many previous proposals fell short Toledo City Council heard a new pitch Tuesday night from Rev. John C. Jones, president of HOPE Toledo for a program to deliver free, universal pre-K to all the city’s 4-year-olds.

Jones asked council to spend more than $1 million from the city’s share of federal American Rescue Plan relief money.

“I think this is the biggest thing we should be concerned about right now,” Jones said.

It’s not a new idea, but it’s something he says we need to make sure young people have the foundation for success.

“Education is crucial for us to ensure our children are getting off to a strong start,” Jones said.

He proposes the city use $1.25 million of its American Rescue Plan money to pay for it.

“So that we ensure all of our children get access, families know that they are prepared,” Jones said.

His presentation showed there are about 4,000 4-year-old kids in Toledo. As many as 1,000 of these children do not having access to early education, because of financial or transportation barriers, among other issues.

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