Political Soapbox Time: TN Lottery and Pre-K
WHY are our legislators opposing helping our young children in favor of giving money to college students who will probably leave the state for jobs? When TN politicians were selling the public on the benefits of having a state lottery, they repeatedly used the words “like Georgia’s lottery”. I lived in Atlanta for two years and the lottery proceeds allow every 4-year-old to attend pre-K (NOT the same as daycare) free of charge. Sarah attended a pre-K program there and she is the best student in this family. I was very disappointed when TN decided their lottery profits would be spent on college scholarships before they were spent on pre-K programs. Students who attend colleges frequently leave the state for employment after they graduate. Pre-K students are going to attend our school systems and if we give them the skills to succeed in school, we are helping our students perform better in school, score higher on standardized tests and bring more federal funding into the schools. Better students and more money in the schools means more teachers stay in TN. Better schools and students mean more businesses in TN and THEN college students have a reason to stay here after they graduate.
I was part of a large group who campaigned hard to get pre-K funded on the first round and we were assured by legislators that pre-K would be added at the beginning of the second year. They should have started with pre-K and then added the college scholarships. Now TCCY, concerned parents and other groups must fight again to try and get Tennesseans to put children first.
Please e-mail TN legislators and tell them we DO need a pre-K program in TN. There is an informational website about the pre-K plan. You can get e-mail addresses for TN Senators and Representatives at this site. Write them today!