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County Executive Budish Announces UPK 2.0 Program Support Rises to $22M

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Mary Louise Madigan, (216) 698-2521; or mlmadigan@cuyahogacounty.us

CLEVELAND – During his State of the County address, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced new commitments to the county’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten 2.0 Initiative bringing the total to $22 million.

“Through a strong collaboration with both the philanthropic and the private sector, we have raised an additional $12 million for our Universal Pre-K initiative”, said Executive Budish. “This will allow us to double the amount of 3-4 year olds throughout the county who will be able to attend our very successful Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program, directed by Invest in Children. This level of private funding is extremely gratifying and demonstrates the strong commitment of our community’s leaders to our youngest citizens and our future.”

County Executive Budish, in partnership with County Council, invested $10 million toward universal pre-kindergarten during the last budget process. The new $12 million in private dollars are being placed into the High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Education Fund at the Cleveland Foundation and will be combined with the public dollars to fund the program expansion.

UPK 2.0 will focus on county-wide expansion, both in the City of Cleveland and through the county, to serve Cuyahoga County’s highest need children in classrooms that meet the highest quality standards. The funding will allow increased professional development of program staff, more intensive help for preschool programs serving special needs children, and enhanced activities to engage families. It will also provide scholarship assistance to low income families to make these high quality programs affordable to them.

“Increasing access to high quality pre-K is critical to the economic future of this region,” said, Paul Clark, regional president for PNC Bank in Cleveland, who co-led the private fundraising campaign. “PNC has been directly engaged in the efforts to expand access to quality early childhood education because we recognize the long term economic benefits linked to children entering kindergarten ready to learn. We are encouraged to see so many in the private sector lend their support to this important work.”

After announcing a $1 million grant from The Cleveland Foundation, UPK 2.0 contributors have grown to include:
  • ADAMHS Board
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • The Cleveland Foundation
  • Dealer Tire
  • Forest City
  • Char and Chuck Fowler
  • Haslam 3 Foundation
  • The George Gund Foundation
  • Huntington Bank
  • KeyBank
  • Lubrizol
  • Medical Mutual of Ohio
  • The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation
  • Gary Oatey
  • PNC
  • Albert and Audrey Ratner
  • Saint Luke’s Foundation
  • Third Federal Foundation
  • Treu-Mart Fund