Home-based preschool bill dies but discussion continues - KOTA Territory News

Home-based preschool bill dies but discussion continues

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Even though it failed in committee Tuesday, lawmakers hope the proposal for a home-based preschool program will at least get the ball rolling on a discussion.

Representative Jacqueline Sly is the prime sponsor of the failed bill; House Bill 1183.

The goal was to help low income, preschool children in rural areas prepare for kindergarten.

She says sometimes these children don't have access to a preschool nearby, so this would act as a substitute. The proposal would have piloted a program that would place computers and software in their homes. Parents would then over see the child's work for at least 15 minutes a day on reading, math, and science.

Representative Sly says she based the idea after a program in Utah called UPSTART and says that program has worked for years.

 "You know they might be learning letters, letter sounds, putting them into words and that's what the focus of the UPSTART program is cognitive. And it's self paced, so each child would go at their own speed of learning," said Representative Sly.

"I do think it would help, but I think they would have to be involved all day long. Because learning for a 3 year old, they are constantly learning. It's not just something that is put into a time frame of 15 minutes," said Terry Newkirk, a Preschool Teacher at the Rapid City YMCA.

Even though the bill was pushed to the 41st day of session, meaning it fails, Representative Sly says hopefully it will lead to more discussion and possible legislation next year.

 

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