Pre-K access emerges as key issue in governor's race

As the governor's race enters full force this fall, several candidates are expected to tackle education issues such as the widening achievement gap among students in Maryland's schools,  The Sun's Erin Cox reported Monday. 

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who formally entered the race last week, is scheduled to announce Monday a plan that would funnel casino money to expanding Pre-K for low-income families.

According to Cox's story, which you can read here, Gansler believes the state's current model of funding half-day preschool is not family friendly, and contributes to the achievement gap between white and minority students.

The story also says that three other democratic candidates plan to roll out plans for early childhood education -- Maryland is considered a national leader in this area --in the coming weeks.

Cox wrote that Gansler cited Baltimore City statistics to prove his point that the state still has a long way to go, despite of its standing as the No. 1 school system in the country.

Addressing a crowd at Salisbury University, he said: 

"There are those that would stand before you and say out loud that we have the number one schools in the country based on some funding formulas – yet, for example, in our biggest city, 80 percent of high school graduates need remedial math, 70 percent need remedial reading, and only 6 percent of Baltimore’s ninth graders will actually graduate from college. "

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