It's a sad day for Reading, PA, the poorest city in the U.S. As a result of cuts to the state's education budget, the city has been forced to eliminate it's pre-Kindergarten program and furlough 110 teachers in order to make ends meet.
If ever there was a city where pre-K ought to be available, it would be Reading. 41.3 percent of Reading's 88,000 residents live in poverty, and only 63 percent of them have a high school diploma. Access to high-quality pre-K is crucial to ensuring students get a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. It's particularly important for students from low-income families who might not have access to the same early learning resources and experiences as their wealthier peers. In a city with high rates of poverty, policymakers should make sure schools can afford to continue such vital programs so that Reading's children aren't underserved simply because of where they live.