On Tuesday, President Barack Obama pushed for at least $750 million in targeted funds in his $3.9 trillion 2015 budget to lay the foundation for universal preschool programs. Obama spoke at a D.C. elementary school that participates in a pre-kindergarten program.
“Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education,” Obama wrote in his introductory budget message about his desire to expand preschool to all four-year olds. “I am again calling on the Congress to make high-quality preschool available to every four-year-old child.”
Questions have been raised, though, about how those taxpayer funds would be spent and what type of nationalized curriculum would be implemented for universal Pre-K programs, which many children may not even attend.
Obama said he hoped that his budget, by targeting $750 million for Pre-K programs, would lay a “stronger foundation for Preschool for All,” an initiative he launched in last year’s State of the Union address. Liberal Democrats – like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro – have also been enthusiasts for Pre-K programs.
According to pool reports, Powell Elementary School, where Obama spoke, participates in D.C.’s “program to provide high-quality, universally available preschool for all of its children,” and Obama told the students and teachers that he thought “this was an appropriate setting to talk about the budget.” He said his “budget is designed” with the Pre-K students’ generation in mind.