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Children and supporters rally for preschool education initiative

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Hundreds of children, parents and education advocates descended on Hawaii’s Capitol Thursday to spur lawmakers to vote for Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s preschool initiative.
The rally came a day after the House Committee on Education adopted three bills relating to the cause. The proposals passed the Senate last week but are still waiting to be heard by the House Judiciary and Finance committees.
Despite their legislative momentum, the proposals hinge on what money is available. Lawmakers are still debating the state budget for the 2013-15 fiscal years, which will cover operating costs for state departments and capital improvement projects. Funding for the multimillion dollar preschool program will depend on what’s left over.
But many said today that early childhood education should be the state’s highest priority. And in addition to conventional preschool, advocates want the state to adopt alternative programs that include parents in the learning process.
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