TEE MISSION: To ensure that every American child, regardless of income or background, has access to a high quality pre-Kindergarten education that allows him or her to enter school ready to learn, and to begin life prepared to succeed.
TEE believes that a quality education is the surest route to success today, and that quality pre-K education, by well-trained professionals, is one of the best ways to put children on this path. Studies show that the benefits of high-quality pre-K become evident almost immediately and continue long after a child has entered elementary school. Not only do students with quality pre-K experience enjoy greater academic success, they are more successful in every area of their lives.
TEE pursues its goals on multiple levels of action: through state and federal efforts to increase the quality and availability of pre-K and through a nationwide campaign to educate voters and policy elites on the benefits of a high-quality pre-K education.
TEE recognizes that winning the fight for high quality pre-K education will be won both in statehouses as well as on Capitol Hill. Therefore, our first priority is supporting state-level advocacy groups with funding and strategic guidance. While 40 states provide some funding for pre-K, these resources are insufficient to make certified pre-K available to every child. And, while 51 states require that kindergarten teachers have a BA, only 21 require that credential for pre-K teachers, and only one requires a degree for child care centers employees. TEE is providing funding, strategic advice, and management support to state-based groups working to change these figures.
The federal government touches the education of millions of three- and four-year-olds through its Child Care and Development Fund, Head Start and welfare reform initiatives (TANF). TEE works with members of Congress, key staffers and agency representatives to build bipartisan support to ensure these programs support and strengthen high-quality early education efforts nationwide. And we are working to bring other interested parties - including the business, civil rights and law enforcement communities - into a broad-based pro-early education coalition.
Finally, TEE has is launching a nationwide public education effort to educate Americans on the importance and effectiveness of high-quality pre-K with an eye towards mobilizing them as supporters and as activists.
America is a nation built on a promise of equality, of opportunity, of economic mobility - a promise that any child can grow up to be President of the United States, or CEO of a corporation. Quality pre-K education, available top every child, is an smart and effective way to see that this promise is kept.
TEE was founded in 2002 with a multi-million dollar grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. It is aggressively expanding its development efforts, working with individuals and foundations to achieve financial security and to enhance its efforts on behalf of America's children. The Pew Charitable Trust is our primary foundation sponsor and plays a pivotal substantive role in our work.
TEE was born inside of another organization, The Education Trust, whose leaders provide TEE with administrative, intellectual and moral support. TEE's work would not be possible without the continued support of this organization, and we are deeply grateful for their ongoing efforts on our behalf.