Progress NC Challenges Lawmakers to Release Evidence for NC Pre-K Recommendations

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Committee Report Driven by Ideology, Not Evidence

RALEIGH — Progress North Carolina today called on Reps. Justin Burr and Rayne Brown, co-chairs of the House Select Committee on Early Education Improvement, to release evidence in support of their committee recommendations. Among the recommendations made by the committee are reducing the number of children who will be eligible for NC Pre-K and privatizing all providers.

What the committee does not do is provide any evidence to support their conclusions. The committee report recommends reducing eligibility for the NC Pre-K program, but they provide no scientific evidence that this approach would improve results. The committee only offers speculation:

“The Committee also finds that consistency of use of “at risk” factors with other prekindergarten programs will lessen confusion and increase participation of children with the greatest needs in the NC Pre-K program.”

Do Committee members really think that reducing access will increase participation? Do they think a child from a family of four with a combined income of $23,051 per year wouldn’t benefit from the NC Pre-K program or is this just a scheme to reduce the embarrassing waiting list the GOP created when the cut NC Pre-K funding by 20% in the state budget?

The committee report also states:

“The Committee finds that private child care facilities have the capacity to provide high quality NC Pre-K classrooms where as local schools, in some instances, are over- crowded and have limited capacity.”

In turn, the Committee recommends banning public schools from providing NC Pre-K services. Where is the scientific evidence to support this conclusion?

Progress NC calls on the committee co-chairs to release the hard evidence which leads to their conclusions.

“If this committee does not come forward with credible evidence to back their ideological claims, it’s work will be revealed as theatre of the absurd. The overwhelming majority of scientific evidence points to positive outcomes for Pre-K participants, and especially for those in public school programs. If anything, we should expand access to more children and involve the public schools even more. Before this General Assembly tries to railroad future pre-school kids with its out-of-control agenda, it should produce credible data to prove their recommendations are driven by evidence, not ideology,” said Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress North Carolina.


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