Dayton leaders are helping show Toledo the way to universal preschool.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Robyn Lightcap, executive director of Dayton’s Preschool Promise, recently presented to Toledo leaders on the city’s strategy to create a program to give all 4-year-olds in the city access to preschool.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz campaigned in 2017 with a platform that included figuring out how to offer universal pre-kindergarten education to Toledoans, no matter what their financial situation, according to the The (Toledo) Blade.
“This is something we need to do if we’re going to compete and beat cities like Dayton for investment and talent and population,” he said, the Blade reported. “By the way, Dayton’s doing this. We’re not. So guess who’s winning that competition?”
Dayton voters in 2016 approved a 0.25 percent income tax hike, with $4.3 million per year of those funds going to Preschool Promise.
The agency uses the tax money for family tuition assistance and preschool staff training in Dayton, expanding on efforts started by Montgomery County. Research suggests high-quality preschool produces academic gains for low-income students.