'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Taking his push for expanded early childhood education to a Republican-dominated state, President Obama on Thursday called on Congress to enact a sweeping program to extend preschool classes to every child in the United States.
The expansion in public prekindergarten programs has slowed and even been reversed in some states as school districts cope with shrinking budgets. As a result, many 3- and 4-year-olds aren't going to preschool.
"The president's statements have brought early education to the national stage. ... Let's make sure none of our children start the race of life a step behind," said W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.
As more students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch, often a qualifier to get into a state-funded prekindergarten program, many families are finding slots simply aren't available, he said.