At the end of September, President Obama announced a goal to enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool programs. However, says EdCentral blog author Clare McCann, the way in which we can accomplish that goal is still unclear. Pre-K classrooms will have to grow by about 50%, says McCann, assuming both public and private programs are part of the plan. (If the President was referring to public programs only, those will have to double.) In addition, Mr. Obama’s call specifically for high-quality pre-K, a hurdle for many existing programs, and the question of half-day versus full-day programs as new pre-K seats are created. But perhaps the most pressing question is that of federal and state investment. While the President’s proposal includes helping states expand and improve their pre-K programs, Congress must approve such an expenditure. However, McCann points to a recent poll in which 64 percent of Americans said “it’s time for the federal government to do more to help ensure kindergarten readiness.” Who knows, maybe the President’s ambitious goal might become reality.
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