ST. PAUL, MN—Representative Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, welcomed Denise Mayotte, the Executive Director of the Sheltering Arms Foundation and supporter of legislation for early childhood scholarships as his guest for Governor Mark Dayton's fifth State of the State address Thursday evening. Kresha is the chief author of early childhood scholarship legislation. Mayotte serves on Governor Dayton's Early Learning Council, as well as Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodge's Cradle to K cabinet.
"I'm grateful for Denise's work supporting early childhood scholarship programs, and her passion and dedication for helping our youngest learners," Kresha said. "I appreciate Governor Dayton's commitment to helping Minnesota children succeed, and I hope we can find a compromise that targets our most disadvantaged children. Research shows that targeted early childhood scholarships are the most effective way to help prepare at-risk children for kindergarten, rather than a Universal program that risks leaving those children behind."
"Early childhood scholarships can make a difference for thousands of at-risk children across the state," Mayotte added. "Our focus should be on helping the children who need the most support. Early scholarship programs are a proven way to reduce the achievement gap and a way to these children on a path toward future success."
Governor Dayton has made universal pre-K a staple of his 2016-2017 budget proposal at a cost of $343 million, and promoted the plan again during his State of the State address.