How Members Are Prioritizing Early Learning in 2018
February 1, 2018

Use the below bullets to jump to a specific section, or visit the 2018 Network Member Priorities Overview.

2018 Outlook

Early learning continues to be a moderate priority for Network members in 2018. Many states have established state-funded pre-K programs, and advocates are now working to expand access and ensure high quality, particularly for underserved communities. Recognizing the need for alignment and consistency from early education programs through elementary school, advocates are also focusing on how to support students, families, and educators through these transitions.

Key Takeaways

  • Compared to other issues, members are focused less on early learning in 2018. Eight members said this issue is a high priority and 11 said it was on the to-do list.
  • Members advocating for early learning are primarily working to expand access by increasing state funding.
  • Several states are also looking at improving transitions from pre-K to kindergarten, including increased professional development for educators.

State Snapshot

Nineteen PIE Network members in 15 states are planning to engage on this issue in 2018, either as a high priority or on the to-do list.

Member Engagement

Below, you’ll see lists of member organizations who said they were planning to work on similar early learning policies. If you’re interested in connecting with any of the organizations listed below, ask Eric for an introduction.


Nineteen members report currently engaging on this issue.

  • AL A+ Education Partnership: Advocate for Expansion of State-Funded Pre-K
  • DE Rodel Foundation of Delaware: Advocate for State Funding
  • FL Foundation for Florida’s Future: Give Struggling Pre-K Students an Optional Second Year at the Discretion of the Parents
  • GA Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education: Full Funding for CAP (Childcare Assistance Program) and Quality Rated
  • ID Idaho Business for Education: Working to Pass Idaho’s First Early Learning Bill
  • IL Advance Illinois: Develop a Framework Outlining Best Practice Transition Requirements Between Early Childhood Programs and Kindergarten and Support the State’s Implementation of a New Kindergarten Readiness Tool
  • IN Stand for Children Indiana: Continue to Support Pre-K Expansion
  • KS ACE Business Alliance: Increased Access for At-Risk Pre-K
  • LA Stand for Children Louisiana: Increase Number of Quality Early Childhood Programs with Equitable and Universal Access; Increase State and Local Level Funding for Quality ECE Programs
  • MA Stand for Children Massachusetts: K-5 Literacy Strategy
  • MN EdAllies: Ensuring the State’s Responsible Administration of Early Learning Funding to Maximize Quality, Access, Efficiency, and Impact on Kids and Families
  • MS Mississippi First: Monitor Funding and Improve Implementation
  • NC BEST NC: Improve The B-8 Grade Governance and Educator Pipeline
  • OR Chalkboard Project: Statewide Financing Model
  • TX Stand for Children Texas: Funding for High Quality, and Looking at PK-2 Certifications for Teachers
  • TX Texas Aspires: Support the Governor’s High Quality Pre-K Initiative
  • WA DFER Washington: Support Partners in this Work
  • WA League of Education Voters: Expand State Program
  • WA Partnership for Learning: Invest in Access for Low-Income Children in State’s High-Quality Early Learning Program

Expertise on this Issue

Below are members with experience who offered themselves as thought partners on this issue.

  • A+ Education Partnership, Thomas Rains, VP, Operations & Policy: Pre-k Expansion
  • AlignED, Torree Pederson, President: Increasing At-risk Early Learning
  • Mississippi First, Rachel Canter, Executive Director: Early Learning
  • Stand for Children Louisiana, Mallory Wall Padgett, Government Affairs Director: Early Learning
  • Stand for Children Texas, Stacey Hodge, Dallas Director: Early Learning

Members most frequently listed NIEER, the First Five Years Fund, and Zero to Three as go-tos for advice and resources on accountability and transparency.


    PIE Network

    PIE Network supports and promotes a network of education advocacy organizations working to improve K-12 education in their states so that every student graduates world-ready.

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