Legislature Approves Money For St. Cloud Preschool Program
ST. CLOUD - Around $430,000 in funding for additional preschool programs will be coming to the St. Cloud area school district if Governor Dayton signs a supplemental budget bill.
The new preschool sections would be put in at Talahi Community School, Discovery Community School and Westwood Elementary School. District 742 assistant superintendent Marsha Baisch says the sections would be for students from low-income families and English language learners.
"Some of our students in the community do not have access currently to preschool, so we're targeting this population that we're aware of."
Alicia Jepsen, the director of early childhood for District 742, says the sections would follow the same preschool curriculum already in place and would be around three hours in length. The target would be around 15 students per section: 10 English language learners and five English speaking students. This would give the English learners a language immersion experience.
The House and Senate approved the supplemental budget bill on Sunday. If Dayton signs it, the District hopes to start the new preschool programs this fall.
"We know from research that students who are exposed to early childhood experiences or preschool, have a greater chance of being successful in school once they hit kindergarten," Basich says.