On March 11, 2014, the Cleveland Pre-K Task Force announced an exciting new plan to ensure that every preschooler in the city will have access to high-quality pre-K experience that will leave them ready to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. The plan, PRE4CLE, was created by more than 60 task force members in a four-month process facilitated and led by ACS President Lori McClung and Policy Associate Heather Lenz. It was covered with both a news story and an editorial in the Plain Dealer, the local NPR station – ideastream, and several television stations.
McClung worked closely with Marcia Egbert, senior program officer at the George Gund Foundation, and Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon, to create a successful process to tackle the huge task of designing an inclusive, affordable pre-K system that includes a variety of public and private providers. McClung and team ACS led nine separate working groups to delve deeply into aspects ranging from finance to teacher quality to transportation. The result? A comprehensive, ambitious, yet realistic plan with clear goals and benchmarks — kicking off with the addition of 2,0000 new high-quality pre-K seats by the beginning of the coming school year. (Cleveland currently has approximately 1,200 high-quality spots for 5,400 pre-K aged children.)