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From a report on early education spending from the Pew Center on the States: "Despite facing historic budget shortfalls, the majority of states have elected once again to invest in evidence-based, proven pre-kindergarten programs. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia chose to increase or hold steady their pre-k funding for fiscal year 2010."

Guess which state's legislators were not so inclined?

Ohio lawmakers approved the largest percentage cut in the nation this year for pre-kindergarten funding — 33 percent. This cut, along with the elimination of Ohio’s Early Learning Initiative, will decimate the state’s pre-k system, according to a state-by-state analysis by Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States. What is left of Ohio’s early education system is expected to serve at least 12,000 fewer children from low-income families.

Oh, and that 12,000 figure? Highest in the nation.

Katie Kelly, director of Cleveland-based groundWork, comments: “Ohio lawmakers were faced with a number of difficult decisions in the most recent state budget. The cuts made to Ohio’s early childhood system will result in many of our most at-risk children entering school without the tools they need to be successful, an outcome that will cost our state much more down the line.”

Hey, whatever, as long as we get that income tax cut we were promised in sunnier times, right? Way to go, Columbus. — Frank Lewis

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