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Obama Praises No Child Left Behind Reform, Universal Pre-K in SOTU

In his final State of the Union address Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama counted the recent reform of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the law’s new pre-school provision as hallmarks of his tenure as president, and he said he will continue to fight for universal pre-K and free community college.

Obama said the recent reform of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was “an important start” in giving every American the opportunity to get the education and training required to get a job.

In December, when the new law—the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—was passed, Obama referred to it as a “Christmas miracle” because it was approved in bipartisan fashion.

“In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by providing Pre-K for all, offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one, and we should recruit and support more great teachers for our kids,” he said.

Obama continued that he would fight not only for college affordability, but free community college. He touted his student loan program as well.

“We’ve already reduced student loan payments to ten percent of a borrower’s income,” the president said. “Now, we’ve actually got to cut the cost of college. Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and I’m going to keep fighting to get that started this year.”

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