New Hampshire is one of the only states east of the Mississippi River without state-funded preschool, putting kids at an early disadvantage compared to those from other states. New Hampshire also does not provide full-day kindergarten to all students.
Beginning during the gubernatorial primary race in 2016, we supported fully-funded full-day kindergarten across the state.
Our supporters and staff in New Hampshire sent more than 800 messages to state lawmakers urging them to invest in full-day kindergarten, and we generated several op-eds, including in the New Hampshire Union Leader and Concord Monitor, letters to the editor, nearly 300 constituent calls to lawmakers and nine letters to the editor in support of the legislation.
In July, Governor Chris Sununu signed into law SB-191, a bipartisan bill that provides additional state funding for full-day kindergarten programs. This legislation is a key step forward in ensuring that more kids in the Granite State will have access to a high-quality kindergarten program and a strong start in life.
The signing was the culmination of years of work by advocates, supporters in New Hampshire and coalition partners, as Governor Sununu explained during his bill signing.
“It’s really important that we close what we all call the opportunity gap. It’s so critical to make sure that just because you live in one town or the other, we are guaranteeing equal opportunity for everyone.” – Gov. Chris Sununu
We will continue to push for full adequacy funding for kindergarten, and increased access to high-quality early education in New Hampshire and across the country.
Our most recent success was in Concord, NH, where we worked to elect two strong full-day kindergarten supporters to the school board in November 2017. Despite the fact that Liza Poinier and Chuck Crush were first-time candidates, their disciplined focus on early learning policy, coupled with SCAN’s robust election tactics, allowed their message to break through and both were elected to the Concord School Board. After 10 years of debate but no action, Concord now appears likely to embrace full-day K. SCAN is actively working with Poinier and Crush and other school board members to become champions for early learning and assess steps to hold re-elected board members accountable in ensuring that all kids and families in Concord have access to full-day kindergarten.
We worked closely with Save the Children to include funding for Save the Children’s early learning programs in the South Carolina state budget. This funding will allow Save the Children to continue to provide critical educational programs to thousands of children in Barnwell, Clarendon, Lee, Orangeburg and Union counties.
Our volunteers and Student Ambassadors, wrote letters to the editor and op-eds, made more than 140 calls to urge fellow constituents to ask key members of state House and Senate committees to include this critical funding in the state budget. Additionally, they sent more than 370 messages to lawmakers in support of the funding.
Save the Children has worked in South Carolina since 2003 and currently partners with 15 schools in five counties to deliver programs to more than 5,500 children.