Montgomery County-Dayton, Ohio
The GLR Campaign recognizes Montgomery County-Dayton, Ohio, as a 2016 Pacesetter for reporting population-level, measurable progress in summer learning for low-income children.
Two high-poverty school districts partnered with the BELL summer learning program in 2016, and their students gained an average of two months in reading proficiency. To scale student success by using data and collaboration, Montgomery County-Dayton also is analyzing learners’ participation in preschool and their kindergarten readiness. Under the leadership of Montgomery County, data analysis found that that while 66% of Montgomery County 4-year-olds attend preschool, fewer than half are in high-quality programs. With this data as a driving force, Montgomery County Commissioners stepped up to support a pilot program in the city of Kettering to offer tuition assistance to families who can’t afford quality preschool. That effort led to Dayton including a Preschool Promise initiative in a tax levy that was overwhelmingly approved in November 2017. Dayton now offers preschool tuition assistance to all families of 4-year-olds and, as important, supports a robust and free quality improvement effort to participating Preschool Promise providers.
Strongly supported by Dayton’s mayor, the levy funds the Preschool Promise for eight years, with $4.3 million annually.