TOLEDO (WTOL) - Getting your kids a jump start on their educations could soon be free in Toledo. More than half of children are considered behind already before they start kindergarten.
Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romules Durant said the sooner it can be implemented, the better, based on testing of current students.
“80 percent of our kindergartners who are coming into TPS are needing intensive intervention, meaning when they come to us, we can’t even get into the standards of kindergarten,” Dr. Durant said.
Durant sees free Pre-K as a way to help those 80 percent of students that are behind catch up. Pre-K gives children exposure to a classroom setting before Kindergarten.
"Rather that wait for kids to show they need help, let's set them up for success by preparing them and bringing them along to where if there is a need for help, it's a minimum," Dr. Durant said.
Right now, this means bringing in two consultants to decide what type of Universal Pre-K would be best for the Toledo community. The consulting won’t cost taxpayers a dime, because it’s being funded by ProMedica and the Toledo Community Foundation.
"They narrow in on the data, and send us some models based on what they've seen work and not work in other communities like ours," Wendy Pestrue, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Toledo said.
Those answers should be available by June. Then the group can move forward and figure out how to implement the program, with no cost to us.