Universal Pre-School Education: Poverty and Politics

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A few states subsidize pre-school for all their four-year olds, with the red state of Oklahoma leading the way. In last year's State of the Union address, the President called for early education to be made universal. The idea went nowhere in Congress. This year, he repeated the request, arguing that 30 states have raised pre-K funding on their own because, as he put it, "we can't wait." Polls show 60% of Republican voters in favor nationwide, along with 84% of Democrats. But the federal cost would be $75 billion. Will Congress give it a chance? Faced with long odds, the President says he'll build his own coalition of business leaders and others. Meantime, we talk with a parent in Oklahoma and others about the benefits of early education, including the impact on poverty.

Credits

Guests:
Lyndsey Layton - Washington Post - @LyndseyLayton, Emily Lim - mother of a child in a state-funded pre-school - @crelement, William Gormley - Georgetown University - @GUPublicPolicy, Ron Haskins - Brookings Institution - @BrookingsInst, Laura Bornfreund - New America Foundation - @lbornfreund

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Jenny Hamel, Sonya Geis, Benjamin Gottlieb