President Obama called on Congress in his State of the Union address Tuesday night to make high-quality preschool more accessible to every kid in a America.
Right now, less than three out of 10 four year olds are enrolled in a preschool program because they just can't afford it. Obama said that can dramatically hurt their learning later in life and Lubbock Independent School District agrees.
LISD's pre-k program includes 1450 kids and right now, only 10% of them can afford the $4,000/year tuition.
LISD pays out of pocket for half of those students's tuition because in the last legislative session the government decided to start funding only a half day of pre-k.
LISD insisted on keeping a full day program because calling it vital for the kid's future, but in order to do so they had to begin pitching in financially.
"Right now its really tapping district resources to maintain full day pre-k," said LISD's Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Lisa Leach. "If there were additional funding it would allow them to ensure they're meeting the needs of a lot more students. We believe that pre-k is very, very important for school readiness so that kids start kindergarten ready to learn. There's a lot of research that supports the importance of pre-k for success later in school."
Obama said preschool can also boost graduation rates, reduce teen pregnancy and reduce violent crimes.