Choice for Pre-K Students
Given the inability of local school divisions to either meet the required local match in the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) program, or have space available for expansion, the Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit is an ideal vehicle for providing additional pre-k opportunities for at-risk four-year-olds. Scholarship foundations, having received tax-credited donations, should be able to provide scholarships equal to 90 percent of the state share of VPI funding so that at-risk children may attend a qualified non-public pre-k program of the parents’ choice. While the state level of VPI funding alone may not be enough to pay full tuition, it is usually the case that non-public schools have supplemental programs to assist low-income families. First, it would provide additional opportunities for at-risk children. Secondly, it would provide additional data on which to base future judgments. Finally, it would reduce barriers to participation by non-public providers, a key element of expanding the number of students served.