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Advocates For Early Education Demand Attention From Pa. Governor Candidates

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The campaign for universal access to pre-kindergarten is growing by the thousands and, as advocates across Pennsylvania clear, it could become an issue in November.

This morning, a small but enthusiastic group of protesters gathered in South Philadelphia outside the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, to deliver a petition demanding pre-K for every three- and four-year-old in Pennsylvania by 2018.

"There's 340 organizations have signed on in every region of the state," said Pre-K for PA southeast director Jon Grabelle Herman.  "We have 5,500 Pennsylvanians that joined the campaign and signed the petition."

Herman (at far left in photo) -- a father of two young children -- says the movement is growing fast throughout the state.  He says that right now only one in six eligible Pennsylvanians has access to pre-K.

"Pennsylvania is falling behind," he says.  "We're 31st out of 41 states that provides pre-K to four-year-olds."

Staff with the Wolf campaign declined to comment.  The petition was also delivered to the Corbett re-election headquarters in Pittsburgh.


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