House passes landmark early education bill


Rep. Goodman: ‘a major step forward for our kids and early learning in Washington state’

March 11, 2010
OLYMPIA – A new law by Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) will change the face of pre-school in our state.
“When the governor signs this reform into law, it will be a victory for children and the parents who fought to make this happen,” said Goodman, himself the father of two young children.
House Bill 2731 will expand quality pre-school across the state and secure early learning as a new state entitlement program.
“This is about giving parents better options to give their sons and daughters the best possible chance at success in school and in life,” Goodman said. “The research is now clear: the earliest years of a child’s life are the most important for their education, and a top-quality pre-school or Head Start class can make all the difference in the world for a child.”
Goodman said early learning is a great equalizer and the most effective tool for closing the achievement gap in junior high and high school.
“On the first day of kindergarten, half of the kids are already behind – and many never catch up,” Goodman said. “Those are the same kids most at risk of dropping out of high school and getting into trouble.  If we care about reducing the achievement gap, we first need to close the preparation gap.  The good news is that early learning can give every child – rich or poor – a fair shot at success.”
After being passed by the House and Senate, Goodman’s bill is now expected to be signed into law by the governor, who is a big supporter of early learning.
Rep. Roger Goodman with a class of Early Start students at Norman Rockwell elementary.