Few States Look to Extend Preschool to All 4-Year-Olds

Friday, March 1, 2013

President Obama’s call in his State of the Union address to “make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America” rallied advocates across the country who have long argued that inequity in education begins at a very young age.

Details of the president’s proposal are expected to be unveiled on Thursday when Mr. Obama visits a Head Start program in Decatur, Ga., but he indicated in his speech that the federal government would work with states to supplement preschool efforts.

While supporters herald the plan as a way to help level the playing field for children who do not have the advantages of daily bedtime stories, music lessons and counting games at home, critics argue that providing universal preschool could result in federal money being squandered on ineffective programs.

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