Initial Investment for Preschool Expansion Secured
FLAGSTAFF May 23, 2019
This month the City of Flagstaff pledged an initial investment in the Flagstaff preschool expansion three-year pilot project, as part of their budget allocation for fiscal year 2020.
City Council allocated $70,000 toward the first year of implementation for the project. This investment was matched by the Coconino County Board of Supervisors which allocated $35,000 for this current fiscal year and another $35,000 for fiscal year 2020.
The Wharton Foundation followed suit and granted $150,000 over the three-year pilot.
“The Wharton Foundation Board was impressed by the significant investment from the City and County and the strength of the coalition that has been built under the umbrella of LAUNCH Flagstaff,” said Scott Pettitt, President of the Wharton Foundation. “This bolstered our confidence in making this investment in high-quality early childhood education for Flagstaff.”
Pettitt has also committed to lead the conversation with other local foundations for additional investment.
The partners have set a goal to generate at least 50% of the $2 million total project budget locally, with the remaining investment sought from regional and national investors.
At the steering committee’s most recent meeting this month, the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce committed to take the lead in coordinating a similar conversation with the local business community.
Additional funding may also be available through a collaborative Head Start grant which the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) will spearhead for the pilot.
In related action, Coconino Community College (CCC) has rekindled their early childhood education program with the hiring of a new Early Childhood Education Coordinator starting in August. The Northern Arizona University (NAU) College of Education has also successfully filled a vacancy in the coordinator position for their early childhood education programs.
CCC and NAU will work together over the summer to cordinate their certification and professional development programs in support of the pilot.
Key early childhood education partners will meet in early June to take the next steps for identifying the necessary resource alignment and coordination for actual implementation of the pilot preschool expansion. Their team will submit a proposal with their results to the broader steering committee in early July.
The partners remain committed to seating the first class of students in the pilot preschool expansion by January 2020.
Stay updated with additional progress reports at this webpage.