LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville mayoral candidate Timothy Findley Jr. announced Monday his plan to offer universal, full-day pre-K to Louisville kids ages 3 and 4 if elected.
"I have sat down with educators, members of the legislatures and parents to find out what they want," Findley said. "I learned, I researched the issue and it became very clear to me that in order for Louisville to experience necessary educational growth, we must be committed to publicly fund full day universal pre-K to all 3- and 4-year-old students in Louisville.”
Findley said he would appoint a task force to recommend how to fully fund and implement a full-day universal pre-K program within his first 90 days in office.
The plan includes prioritizing expansion in underserved communities, offering hours and locations that work with families' schedules and supporting dual language learners. The plan would also work to diversify the workforce, eliminate suspensions and expulsions, make enrollment easy and publish equity data to help track progress.
"A tree grows from its root," Findley said. "Those roots grow in many different directions in the ground, and the tree grows up. That’s the approach we must have with educating our children."
Findley said research shows 49% of Kentucky kids, especially those coming from under-resourced areas, start kindergarten without the skills they need. State lawmakers pushed for better access to pre-K in 2019, however no bill was passed.
The senior pastor at Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center is the first in the 2021 race to announce plans for universal pre-K. He pushed his fellow candidates, including businessman Craig Greenberg; Jefferson Circuit Court clerk David Nicholson; Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression co-chair Shameka Parrish-Wright; and more, to also support the policy.