2/26/2013 7:07 PM
by Rebecca Turco
BECKLEY - The Senate Education Committee began reviewing Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's proposed public education overhaul Tuesday.
Raleigh County Schools Superintendent Jim Brown said the education overhaul consists of many provisions. For instance, the legislation would ensure that students receive 180 days of instruction, and also place a greater focus on college and career readiness as early as middle school.
"I think anytime you open those lines of communication between [secondary schools and colleges], only good things can happen. So I see that as a real positive," said Brown.
The bill also requires full-day pre-kindergarten to be offered state-wide, but it does not mandate all four-year-olds to attend; that decision lies with the parents. This pre-kindergarten program is in an effort to help all children read on grade-level by third grade.
"I do see the benefits of a strong, universal pre-[kindergarten] program and if it's
part of the mandate, then we're gonna do our very best to make sure that
Raleigh County Schools provides a quality program for four-year-olds," said Brown.
Pre-kindergarten teachers at Bradley Elementary School said they would support the implementation of a day-long pre-kindergarten program throughout the state.
"It gives children from influential families or children from families
who don't have as much the same opportunities to come into the school
system and learn how to get along with each other," said teacher Cindy Poling.
Fellow teacher Sarah Toney agreed. "This is [the students] first time...leaving their moms and dads, and
that's a very big step," she said. "And I think pre-[kindergarten] is just that way of them
getting the opportunity to do that."
Brown said it is still too early to determine what educational changes will actually be made. "Who knows what the final measures will be once the legislative session is over," he explained.