Universal Preschool’s Empty Promises

In February 2013, President Obama proposed significantly increasing federal spending on early childhood education and care as part of his drive for a “cradle-to-career” government-controlled education system. A massive federal preschool expansion would further entangle Washington in the education and care of the youngest American children. Washington already has a poor track record for K–12 education, with federal spending nearly tripling over the past three decades while academic achievement languishes. Expanding federal intervention in education to include infants, toddlers, and three-year-olds and four-year olds will crowd out private preschools, increase costs for taxpayers, and fail to create lasting academic benefits for children. Moreover, this additional federal intervention will largely duplicate existing efforts, as nearly three-quarters of four-year-olds are already enrolled in some form of preschool.

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