Philly's Mayor Kenney Establishs a Pre-K Advisory Board

Philly's Mayor Kenney Establishs a Pre-K Advisory Board

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PHILADELPHIA, PA –  <a href=Mayor Jim Kenney signed Executive Order No. 1-17 to establish a pre-K advisory board which will assist in the implementation and fiscal oversight of PHLpreK, the City’s expansion of locally-funded, quality pre-K across Philadelphia." style="float: left;" title="PHILADELPHIA, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney signed Executive Order No. 1-17 to establish a pre-K advisory board which will assist in the implementation and fiscal oversight of PHLpreK, the City’s expansion of locally-funded, quality pre-K across Philadelphia." />PHILADELPHIA, PA –  Mayor Jim Kenney signed Executive Order No. 1-17 to establish a pre-K advisory board which will assist in the implementation and fiscal oversight of PHLpreK, the City’s expansion of locally-funded, quality pre-K across Philadelphia.

The pre-K advisory board will advise the administration on pre-K enrollment processes, monitoring of providers, adherence to quality standards and other activities intended to ensure the success of PHLpreK and school-readiness of its participating students.

The Executive Order requires that the advisory board be composed of no more than thirteen members, seven of whom, including the Chair, shall be appointed by the Mayor, and up to six of whom may be appointed by City Council President. Appointees must have experience in early childhood education, philanthropy, child welfare, childhood development, childhood behavioral health, medicine, higher education or represent critical stakeholder or community interests. All members of the board shall serve two-year terms, effective immediately.

Mayor Kenney appointed the following individuals to serve on the pre-K advisory board:

Carol Austin, Executive Director, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Children
Stephen Bradley, President & CEO, Bradley & Bradley Associates
Patricia DeCarlo, former Executive Director, Norris Square Community Alliance
Harriet Dichter, Harriet Dichter Consulting
Trae Pate, AFEL Outreach Manager, Drexel University’s Action for Early Learning
Tawana Tonkins, Owner, Kai’s Comfy Corner
Elliot Weinbaum, Program Director, William Penn Foundation

Council President Clarke appointed the following individuals to serve on the pre-K advisory board:

Waadeah Floyd, Government Relations Representative, Office of Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell
Cassandra Jones, Founder/President, Next Step Associates, LLC
Megan Langhoff Barry, Communications Liaison, Office of Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez
Patience Lehrman, Special Assistant to the Dean at the College of Education, Temple University
Penny Nixon, Senior Executive Vice-President/Chief Academic Officer, Universal Companies
Charlene Samuels, Director of Constituent Services, Office of Councilwoman Helen Gym

“This month, 2,000 more students are participating in city-funded pre-K at 90 programs and I couldn’t be more proud of what the City has been able to accomplish in a very short time period,” said Mayor Kenney. “As the initiative grows, it’s extremely important that it’s guided by field experts and community stakeholders who understand the needs of Philadelphia and its youngest citizens. Equally important is that the administration is publicly accountable for pre-K spending and meeting program goals, which this advisory board will help to achieve.”

Council President Darrell L. Clarke added, “Given this historic investment, Philadelphians deserve transparency and accountability throughout the City’s pre-K expansion. Like many early critics, I was concerned about the fairness of the sweetened beverage tax, but ultimately became convinced by the Administration that the benefits of expanded pre-K would be seen most immediately in lower-income communities. It is my hope that by year’s end, the City is able to demonstrate PHLpreK is moving us closer to our shared goal of a more equitable and inclusive Philadelphia. I also know that our colleagues in Harrisburg, led by Governor Tom Wolf, support quality early education for all children in the Commonwealth and will be watching PHLpreK closely.”

The advisory board is responsible for submitting an initial report to the mayor and president of City Council by July 15, 2017, proposing goals and metrics by which PHLpreK should be measured annually. The board must submit an annual report by no later than July 15th of each year beginning in 2018. At minimum, the report must provide a review and accounting of the overall PHLpreK program budget; measurable goals achieved in the previous year and planned for the following year; and review of aggregate child and program outcomes.

PHLpreK was established in July of 2016 to help children acquire the early literacy, social and behavioral skills required for educational success. Studies show that children who participate in quality pre-K demonstrate higher rates of academic achievement, high school graduation, college attendance and employment than their peers. They require less academic remediation, grade repetition, and special education, and are less inclined toward involvement with the juvenile justice system than their peers. By 2020, PHLpreK aims to provide quality pre-K for 6,500 three- and four-year-olds per year.

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