A Feb. 23 article did a good job covering Beaufort County School District's plan to expand its Pre-K program.
On the question and opinions on the benefits of preschool, there is clear evidence that preschool is beneficial when quality programs are available with qualified teachers. Beaufort County has many quality church and private preschools with tuitions lower than those in most states. Some scholarships are offered too.
Most private preschools do not offer the district's full-day proposal, which is necessary for many single parents and two-parent working families. It's true that every child does not need preschool, but I've noticed a large percentage of parents who can afford the tuition make this investment.
For children from lower-income families, preschool is a more urgent requirement given the limited time parents typically have to give while also making a living.
In response to Rep. Shannon Erickson's view that more is needed to improve children's success, many will need help from mentors, tutors and additional class time from organizations like the Neighborhood Outreach Connection. Their families also need assistance to effectively use the many countywide human service organizations available.
We've been debating this issue for too long in Beaufort County and South Carolina. Let's challenge local politicians to meet the needs of all of our children so they can graduate and qualify for jobs with decent wages and a future.
Hilton Head Island