Elected officials from Salt Lake county were given a firsthand look at the impacts of a recent expansion of preschool services during a visit to a new elementary school preschool center in Granite School District.
Gearld Wright Elementary in West Valley City is home to one of twelve new preschool centers in the district thanks to a $350,000 expansion of preschool programs that was unanimously approved by the Salt Lake County Council in July.
The social impact bond was the result of a partnership with the County, Goldman Sachs, and philanthropist J.B. Pritzker. The funds will be repaid to the County through savings generated from fewer children who require special education later on in their schooling.
The funds are specifically tailored to meet the needs of at-risk students living in areas of high poverty. Research has continually shown that quality preschool programs better prepare at-risk students for the rigors of K-12 school.
To get a sense of how the preschool programs are meeting these expectations, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and County Council members Sam Granato and Richard Snelgrove sat down alongside some preschoolers for a typical lesson.