Posted: November 22, 2013 | Senator Vitelli

National and state experts join lawmakers in urging universal pre-K

AUGUSTA—On Monday, November 25 at 10:30 a.m. in room 202 of the Cross Building, a panel of national and state experts in criminal justice, children’s brain development, and early education will urge the legislature’s education committee to expand early childhood education for all Maine children.


Senator Vitelli will be presenting LD 1530, “An Act To Establish a Process for the Implementation of Universal Voluntary Prekindergarten Education.”  The measure provides a framework to implement universal voluntary pre-kindergarten in all school districts in Maine by the 2017-2018 school year.


“Children who receive quality early education are more successful in school, and life,” said Senator Vitelli. “With pre-K programs in every school district in Maine, more children will benefit from the strong foundation quality early education provides.”


Currently, only 60 percent of Maine school districts offer some form of public pre-K, and fewer than one-third of four year olds are enrolled in a public preschool program.


“Once a crime has been committed, lives have been shattered. We can save lives, hardship, and money by investing in early childhood programs that keep children away from being criminals in the first place,” said Colonel Mark Westrum, the Corrections Administrator at Two Bridges Regional Jail.
Senator Vitelli and Col. Westrum will be joined by additional experts including:

  • Dr. Judy Cameron, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Science Outreach, University of Pittsburgh
  • Bill Libby, Mission: Readiness
  • Rosalie Perkins, Program Coordinator, RSU 1 Pre-K CHOICES
  • Patrick Manuel, Superintendent, RSU 1
  • Bob Parlin, Director, Family Focus
  • Kathryn Colfer, Director, Child & Family Services, Educare Central Maine
  • Eric Haley, Superintendent, Waterville Schools

WHO: Senator Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic, Colonel Mark Westrum of Two Bridges Regional Jail, and additional panelists

WHAT: Work session and briefing on LD 1530 “An Act To Establish a Process for the Implementation of Universal Voluntary Prekindergarten Education”

WHEN: Monday, November 25, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Room 202, Cross Building, Augusta