East Ridge City Councilwoman Esther Helton has received her second endorsement of early education advocates, Tennesseans for Quality Early Education – Political Action Committee. Ms. Helton, who won a rancorous and hard-fought GOP primary with the support to TQEE-PAC, has secured the endorsement in the general election over her Democratic opponent.
“Councilwoman Helton demonstrated toughness, perseverance and grace in her primary campaign,” said TQEE Executive Director Mike Carpenter. “We look forward to having Esther put those qualities to work for young children in Tennessee who need a high-quality early education.”
Ms. Helton, a grandmother of five and a product of East Ridge public schools, said she supports investing in training and professional development for early grades teachers to ensure they have the age-appropriate skills to teach young children. She wants to continue the momentum in Tennessee around early literacy, so children can read on grade-level by 3rd grade. Because of her healthcare background, she understands the impact of childhood trauma, like opioid addiction and domestic violence, on the brain development of young children.
“Like the overwhelming majority of Tennesseans, Councilwoman Helton agrees that early education is the building block of all future learning," said Mr. Carpenter. "As a conservative, she knows investing in early education leads to a return on investment that taxpayers cannot achieve by investing in prisons and social programs."