(Photo © Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
There are many places around our country, in our states, and in our cities, where we have the freedom of exploring and turning to a textbook because of leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. Author Eugenie Laverne Mitchell has said, “The world is your classroom”; and it is because of advocates like Martin Luther King Jr., that this mantra can be a reality for all of our children – no matter their heritage, racial identity, economic background or neighborhood.
Have you ever noticed and reflected upon the fact that Martin Luther King’s birthday (and the time of year we honor him) falls in January—the same time of year we often set goals and resolutions for ourselves? Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is a day of observance to honor the love, justice and strength he exhibited and the change he initiated, which to this day, inspires the world. In consideration of the calendar year, I couldn’t think of a better vision for us to adopt as we begin 2018. May we look upon his life and legacy as inspiration for the change we want to see realized in today’s world, throughout this year.
Last week, our governor released his proposed budget for the upcoming year. In the budget, he upheld previously stated promises to fund early education initiatives, and we look forward to working with the governor and members of the Legislature to create a budget that moves the needle even further to support our youngest learners. The governor’s proposal honors the commitment made in the 2016-17 budget to add full-day preschool slots and to raise provider reimbursement rates, but the work on behalf of children and their families is not done. There is a significant need to improve access to quality early learning, particularly for infants and toddlers. We will continue to advocate for these investments until every child has the opportunity for a bright future, beginning at birth, by receiving the highest quality of early care and education. To read more about the budget proposal and thoughts from our partner organizations, click here.
May the work and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. serve as the fuel and inspiration for the year ahead, and help us act upon our own unwavering, heartfelt passions. Advocate for what you believe in, and hold steadfast to the better tomorrow we are working towards for our children. Change begins within each of us, and we are better together.
Scott L. Hippert, CEO