SOTU Education Proposals Focus On Nation's Youngest, Oldest Students

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, February 14, 2013

During Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed several major education initiatives, including a big push to expand pre-kindergarten and a potential revamp of the federal aid system for college students.

"Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America," Obama said. "Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on.”

Instead of focusing on the bulk of American public school students, the president's proposals zeroed in on the margins, targeting the oldest and youngest members of the country's education system.

The speech marks an inflection point on education between Obama's two terms: His first term focused on drastic changes to K-12 public schools, while his second term will likely emphasize higher education and early education. It's a strategy the White House described to advocates before the State of the Union speech as "bookending" Obama's earlier policies.

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