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New Law Boosts Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education has been included in the rewrite of No Child Left Behind Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Education every $1 invested in quality early education saves taxpayers an average of $7 in future costs by reducing remedial education needs. Children who attend early learning programs do better on math and reading assessments, are less likely to need special education services and are more likely to graduate from high school than children who do not. This is important to note because last Thursday President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, calling it a “Christmas Miracle.” This law is the start of a new approach to accountability and the way poorly performing schools are pushed to improve. For the first time, The education law also includes dedicated funding for early education.

President Barack Obama talks with kids attending a Let's Move! tennis clinic on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 3, 2010.

Senator Patty Murray, a former preschool teacher, helped rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act and was fundamental in the passing of this law. Senator Murray said she would only agree to work to pass a bill if it expanded access to preschool programs. She was overwhelmingly positive about the fact Early Learning was eventually included.

“For the first time ever, our federal education law will recognize the importance of early learning with the grant program that we have put in place. It’s a very good beginning step for our nation”

The No Child Left Behind act  did not include early education at all, so this is an important move forward for American education. Hopefully this will ensure there is no longer a “one size fits all” approach to education in America’s classrooms. Obama noted this process as an “example of how bipartisanship should work,” seeing that usual opposing sides had compromised on this deal. “That’s something that you don’t always see here in Washington,” Obama said. “There wasn’t a lot of grandstanding, a lot of posturing, just a lot of good, hard work.”

 

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