January 29, 2015

Lawmakers Reintroduce PRE-K Bill

Democrats in the Senate and the House are reintroducing a bill that aims to improve both the quality and quantity of pre-K.

The bill, the Providing Resources Early for Kids Act, would create a federal-state partnership that would help states either build high-quality pre-K programs from the ground up or improve and expand existing programs.

The PRE-K Act is more streamlined and less expansive than the Strong Start for America's Children Act, the ambitious early learning bill pushed by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller in the last Congress, though the Strong Start Act is also expected to get reintroduced this year.

Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii is introducing the PRE-K Act in her chamber. It's cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Both Hirono and Kaine have experience working on early education issues at the state level. In the House, Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Mike Honda of California are introducing the bill. It's also endorsed by groups including the American Federation of Teachers, the Council for Exceptional Children and the First Focus Campaign for Children.

Hirono said in a statement that the bill "focuses on quality because it is what makes the biggest difference in educational outcomes."

Read the entire piece at: https://www.politicopro.com/education/whiteboard/?wbid=47455

By:  Maggie Severns
Source: Politico Pro