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Pima County approves preschool scholarship for low-income families

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Many parents choose to send their children to preschool, however, for those low income families, paying for preschool programs may be difficult.

In a four to one vote, the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a plan on Tuesday that will give millions of dollars to 1,245 children in Pima County.

The plan allocated $10 million to fund the scholarship.

According to a press release, the plan is set to begin on July 1.

The plan will include:

  • Partnerships with eight school districts and Pima Community College to offer free high-quality preschool to approximately 480 children.
  • Partnership with First Things First, a State Agency focused on early childhood development, to offer 560 additional scholarships for quality preschools within their Quality First system (includes school districts, centers and home-based providers).
  • Partnership with Child-Parent Centers, to offer extended day Head Start preschool programs at 11 locations for 205 children.
  • And the solicitation of proposals to contract with an experienced organization to develop a three-year implementation plan to manage and implement an ongoing preschool scholarship program, and implement the plan under the guidance of the multi-departmental oversight team.

Families with children three to five years old with a household income of 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level are eligible for the scholarship.

“Successful communities support the education of their children, and I’m proud to be part of a community that is giving our children the best possible chance for success through this program,” County Supervisor Rex Scott said. “The data is undeniable – early education works. Children who benefit from early education on average do better in school throughout their careers, are more likely to graduate from high school and earn higher wages after graduation.”

Meleny Gradillas

Meleny Gradillas is the evening Digital Content Specialist at News 4 Tucson. She was previously a Quintern at the station since 2017.

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