AMITE, Louisiana — The Tangipahoa Parish school system is looking into expanding prekindergarten programs at schools across the parish.
School Board Vice President Brett Duncan asked fellow board members Feb. 11 to approve a resolution calling on Superintendent Mark Kolwe's office to develop cost estimates for expanding the programs.
The board passed the resolution unanimously. Several board members voiced their support for the proposed expansion, saying it would give children a smoother transition into kindergarten.
Kolwe tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1bLhlWI ) he met Friday with staffers to begin investigating the cost of the expansion, which he expects will be "pretty significant."
Kolwe said he supports the expansion because other nearby school districts with universal pre-K programs have better school performance scores.
"The tests and the data shows that kids that have had the opportunity to have the good pre-K education that we offer, they're very much more likely to succeed when they get to the third grade and they start taking the state assessment tests," Kolwe said.
Only 13 of the parish's 34 schools offer any kind of pre-K classes, Kolwe said.
Combined, those schools offer 40 regular pre-K classes and five "blended" classes, which includes regular and special education pre-K students.
Kolwe said his staff hopes to finalize a more comprehensive report about pre-K expansion by around March.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com