At the annual CPS State of the Schools address Friday, Greg Landsman wiped a tear away when recalling a time he had to explain to his grade school daughter the importance of the Preschool Promise initiative. Thinking there were just a few kids who couldn't afford to attend, she wanted to know their names.
But the list of names was far too long for her father to recite.
This fall, Cincinnati Public Schools will increase the number of preschool seats from 1,200 to 1,500. But Landsman says there are 9,000 three and four-year olds in Cincinnati. He says there are existing programs and some state and federal funding, but it's not enough.
To pay for the preschool expansion, innovative curriculum and career readiness, CPS is putting a 7.93 mill emergency levy before voters this fall, costing the owner of a $100,000 an extra $277.55 a year.
At the State of the Schools event, Superintendent Mary Ronan introduced seven neighborhood schools with new programs focusing on five areas, as reported in April on WVXU.
- Arts and Culture (Woodford Paideia, Chase School)
- Environmental Science (Pleasant Hill Academy)
- Technology (Hays Porter)
- Gifted (Cincinnati Gifted Academy West)
- Student Enterprise (Rothenburg, Westwood School)
There also plans for ROTC programs and gender-based education.
Ronan told teachers and administrators the innovative programs would come to an end if the levy doesn't pass.