The expansion of preschool has been a hot topic over the past year as debates on quality education heat up and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is being reauthorized. Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education, announced on the 50th anniversary of ESEA that there should be new laws to ensure strong opportunities for all students including children ages 0-5.
The latest version of the ESEA was the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Secretary Duncan’s vision for the new ESEA includes aligning preschool to K-12 and advocating for strong preschool programs across the nation, know as the “Preschool for All” plan.
“By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool. That is an achievable goal that we know will make our workforce stronger.”
–President Barack Obama
The proposed ESEA would provide states with the opportunity to opt-in to a federal-state partnership administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This partnership would increase the capacity of existing state systems to provide high-quality, publicly-funded preschool.
Funding set aside for the Preschool for All program is approximately $75 billion over a ten-year period. The proposed ESEA would ensure that underserved populations are served and that educators have the resources needed to provide high-quality infant/toddler care and preschool for all children in America.
On February 2nd, President Obama released the federal budget request, which included funding for the revised ESEA. To show the government’s strong support for preschool, the proposal includes $1 billion in additional funding for Head Start programs and $750 million for the Department of Education’s Preschool Development grants. The $1 billion also includes the development of toddler care through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grants. For more information on the 2016 federal budget, click here.
Transform Consulting Group works with organizations and leaders to provide high quality, affordable, and accessible early learning programs. Contact us today and learn how your organization can expand early learning opportunities for families in your community.