Whitmer proposes funding increase to preschool program

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 06/11/2021, 3:21 PM

(LANSING, Mich.) Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she'd like to see funding for the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), a state funded preschool program for four-year old children, increase by $405 million. 

The GSRP preschool program helps children from families that are at or below 250 percent of the poverty line. 

The governor's office says only 66 percent of children who are eligible for the program are being served. 

Right now, 43,100 kids in Michigan are getting access to preschool because of the program, but 65,400 are eligible for GSRP.

Whitmer's proposed plan to expand funding for the GSRP includes $255 million from the federal government and $150 million from the state government over the next three years. 

“We have a unique opportunity right now to make the type of investments in early education and preschool that will pay massive dividends by improving health, educational, and social outcomes for our children decades down the line,” said Whitmer. “Parents across our state are aware of the importance of early education and now we have to seize this chance to eliminate waitlists for eligible children.  The investments announced today provide access to all eligible children and will help narrow the achievement gap between high-income and low-income students. As we put Michigan back to work, parents can go about their work day knowing that their children are learning in a safe and productive environment.” 

Whitmer's plan is also asking for an additional $50 million to ensure there are enough preschool providers available in the state and to help with transportation costs.  


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