Power to the Preschoolers

6/5/2013

“Spread the word about President Obama’s plan to provide high-quality preschool for every kid in America,” twittered the White House on Wednesday. We all know that nothing on the planet compares to the awesome power of social media. But it may require more than a hashtag to bring this one home.

You may remember that earlier this spring, the president unveiled a budget plan that included a big initiative on early childhood education. Universal pre-K for 4-year-olds! More programs for low-income infants and toddlers! Big push for higher quality! And to help pay for it all, a new 94-cents-per-pack tax on cigarettes.

Everybody was so excited. “This is going to be wonderful,” said former Vice President Walter Mondale. (We will stop here for one minute and recall that when Mondale was in the Senate, he successfully led a bipartisan effort to make quality preschool programs available to every American family. Then Richard Nixon vetoed the bill. Flash forward 42 years, and here we are, backward.)

But about Obama’s plan. How could this not work out? The nation’s fabled upward mobility has come to a screeching halt because low-income kids start behind in kindergarten and never catch up. Nobody has come up with a better idea for fixing the problem than early childhood education.

Source: The New York Times

Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/06/opinion/collins-power-to-the-preschoolers.html?ref=gailcollins&_r=1&

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