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Reason Foundation

UPK in '08

Lisa Snell
February 4, 2008, 7:28pm

Both Hillary and Obama list "universal preschool" as their number one education policy. So if Hillary wins her education platform is universal preschool: From her website: Currently, less than 20 percent - only 800,000 out of four million - of four year olds and 120,000 three year olds are enrolled in state pre-K programs, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Hillary's proposal would ensure that every child who needs pre-K would receive it by providing universal access to high quality pre-K for four year olds in five years through a federal-state partnership. Her proposal also provides flexibility to allow states to serve younger children once they have provided pre-K to all four year olds who need it. Of course she only counts the 20 percent in state care, failing to mention that 80 percent of four year olds have been through some kind of pre-k. Those mom co-ops and Christian pre-schools don't count. Neither does the YMCA or that high-priced KinderCare... If its not state-run it must not exist. If Obama wins, he's also for, you guessed it, universal preschool. From his website: Zero to Five Plan: Obama's comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, Obama's plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school. Key difference, Obama would fund those kiddos sooner... Also, he still likes Head Start as the main provider. Forget those state-run programs, let's go for the federal-run programs instead.

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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