Organizations Reveal Early Childhood Education Agenda

7:27 PM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Wednesday morning, about 50 people gathered at the State House to address issues in education for children ages zero to five.

"Even though we were allies, we were allies on individual bills. Now, we're allies on a vision," Tim Ervolina said.

Ervolina with the the United Way is one of the contributors to "The Early Childhood Common Agenda."

"What we're calling for is being smart about the way we spend the money and making sure that it all works together instead of cross-purposes," Ervolina said. "Staying focused on results, if it doesn't work, quit doing it, do things that we know work."

The agenda hits on five key points, including investing in two years of early childhood education and quality resources to low-income and at-risk children. 

Jamie Moon with the Institute for Child Success says this plan can't work without lawmakers.

"What we hope will happen is that the lawmakers will read the common agenda see the guiding principles that it puts forth and actually include that information or include that spirit in the context of any of the bills that they're currently looking at," Moon said.

And Moon said they have a heavy hitter in their corner.

"We've been able to work with the Governor's office and believe that she understands the value of early childhood," Moon said.

South Carolina ranks near the bottom in education.

And Ervolina believes the agenda can help solve issues for the long term, not just this election season.

"We don't have to just throw money at it, we need to make sure we're doing it correctly. That's what we're asking for," Ervolina said. "Yes, we're asking for more money,  but we're asking for it to be spent right.

The organizers plan to continue talking to lawmakers about the importance of early childhood education.

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