On Thursday, Barack Obama told teachers in Decatur, GA that he was in favor of making school mandatory for children from the age of four, declaring, “The size of your paycheck shouldn’t determine your child’s future. So let’s fix this. Let’s make sure none of our kids start out the race of life a step behind.”
Obama is proposing offering federal matching of state education funding if they institute his pre-school program. He also wants to expand the Early Head Start program.
Qualifications for the funding include: teachers would have to hold college degrees in certain categories related to education, restrictions on class size, and a government-approved curriculum.
Obama was stumping for the program in Georgia specifically because the state started a program in 1995 that was to offer universal pre-kindergarten education.
Obama insisted that pre-kindergarten education leads to social benefits such as higher graduation rates, less crime, and fewer teenage pregnancies. The National Institutes of Health, a wing of the same Department of Health and Human Services that brought you Obamacare, used its own estimates to assert that a dollar spent on early education ended up giving $11 back to society later.
Obama boasted, “Hope is found in what works. This works. We know it works. If you are looking for a good bang for your educational buck, this is it. Right here.”
Of course, Obama didn’t put a price tag on his plans, but in Georgia, the pre-kindergarten education program costs $300 million per year.
One other problem: Georgia, even with 6 out of 10 children attending the pre-school program, ranks in the lowest 25% of the nation in high school graduation rates.