In his 2013 State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Obama called for Universal Preschool to level the educational playing field and ready all citizens for the jobs of tomorrow. Today more details on how such a program would work and be funded emerged. New York Times. More.
The president’s plan would provide federal matching dollars to states to provide public preschool slots for four-years olds whose families earn up to 200 percent of the poverty level. President Obama would also allocate extra funds for states to expand public pre-kindergarten slots for middle-class families, who could pay on a sliding scale of tuition.
This would be a good start! Such programs also lead to more good jobs in the short term (since paying teachers well is the way to attract those with solid credentials and to ensure that they stick around long term). They cost money, but they also work as a stimulus by putting that money into the hands of people who will spend it fast. What goes around comes around. Next step–universal childcare!
Here’s an earlier post on that topic: Childcare as Infrastructure