Columbus City Council last night approved spending 4.2 million dollars to expand pre-kindergarten educational opportunities for 4-year-old low-income children.
Last year, the city set aside 3.4 million dollars to fund 350 spaces in Early Start Columbus, a program created two years ago to prepare children for school. This year, the grant money will fund 400 spaces in the program. Columbus education director Rhonda Johnson says organizations that apply for the grants must complete a process that mirrors the one the state uses to expand early childhood education programs.
Johnson says there is a growing demand for participation in the program, which is expanding eligibility to low-income and working families earning three times the federal poverty level.