S.L. County to help expand preschool, after-school programs

June 17, 2013
Author: Benjamin Wood | Deseret News

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said Monday he is looking to double access to after-school programs in the county and his office will work with the United Way to expand high quality public preschool through private investments.

His remarks came at a county education summit, which gathered community, school and government leaders to network and brainstorm on the subjects of high quality preschool and after-school programs for low-income and at-risk students.

The event also coincided with the appointment of Roderic Land as the county education liaison, a position that McAdams promised to create during his mayoral campaign.

"As a parent and a taxpayer and as an elected official, I know there is no better investment we can make than in the education of our children," McAdams said.

The summit followed last week's announcement by the United Way of Utah that investment firms Goldman Sachs and J.B. Pritzker had committed several million dollars for the creation of a results-based financing model to expand early childhood education for at-risk children.

Under the financing model, similar to one that was proposed at the state level by Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, but ultimately failed during the most recent legislative session, private investors would provide the funding for high-quality public preschool through a loan that would be repaid if the program proved succesful at generating educational outcomes and taxpayer savings.