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ERIC Number: ED555741
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America
US Department of Education
Each year, about 4 million children enter kindergarten in the United States. All parents hope their child will start school ready for success, and many parents turn that hope into action, seeking out supportive and high-quality early learning opportunities. Unfortunately, not every parent finds those opportunities, and access differs based on geography, race, and income. As a result, too many children enter kindergarten a year or more behind their classmates in academic and social-emotional skills. For some children, starting out school from behind can trap them in a cycle of continuous catch-up in their learning. As a nation, we must ensure that all children, regardless of income or race have access to high-quality preschool opportunities. This year, as Congress seeks to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), our nation is at critical moment. Congress can honor this important legacy and moral imperative--as our nation observes ESEA's 50th anniversary--by reauthorizing a strong education law. This new law must reflect real equity of opportunity, starting with our youngest children. Significant new investments in high-quality early education are necessary to help states, local communities, and parents close the school readiness gaps between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers. Across the country, we must expand access to high-quality early learning to ensure that all children graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college, careers, and life. Studies also reveal that participating in quality early learning can boost children's educational attainment and earnings later in life. Children who attend high-quality preschool programs are less likely to utilize special education services or be retained in their grade, and are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, and succeed in their careers than those who have not attended high-quality preschool programs. Research also suggests that expanding early learning--including high-quality preschool--provides society with a return on investment of $8.60 for every $1 spent. About half of the return on investment originates from increased earnings for children when they grow up. Providing children with quality early education experiences is not only the right thing to do for America's youngest learners, it is an imperative for strengthening our nation's economy.
US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education (ED)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act