600px-US-DeptOfHUD-Seal.svgHousing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said “Cleveland gets it” about universal prekindergarten initiatives and applauded the collaboration behind the PRE4CLE partnership during his recent visit. “America is watching Cleveland and communities like it that are taking bold steps in early childhood education,” Castro said.

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development is a technical consultant to the Cleveland Pre-K Task Force. PRE4CLE, a partnership begun earlier this year, plans to double the number of Cleveland children in preschool.

“We know, through high-quality preschool, young folks are put on a more positive trajectory for life,” Castro said. “The research shows, if you have a dollar to spend in education, that dollar is best spent on high-quality preschool.” The Poverty Center has been researching the benefits of preschool education for over a decade. Research on the universal pre-K from the Center and Invest in Children collaborate the Secretary’s statements.

Secretary Castro’s visit was featured in a Cleveland Plain Dealer story and a Cleveland Metropolitan School District press release. The post from CMSD discussed the Poverty Center’s findings which indicate  there were 3,530 high-quality preschool spaces available in Cleveland in 2013. However only 2,857 of those spaces were filled. Cleveland had more than 13,000 children ages 3 to 5.

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