Prekindergarten is the hottest issue under the sun these days, ever since President Barack Obama made it a focal point of his State of the Union address, then released the bare bones of a plan to expand prekindergarten access to more low-income 4-year-olds. On the heels of the announcement, some folks in Congress released legislation aimed at expanding access to early childhood education programs. The measures include:
•A bill by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee who has been interested in early childhood education issues for quite some time, put forth a bill that sounds like it’s got a lot in common with some of the administration’s ideas to expand early learning. For one thing, it has a similar goal—providing high-quality prekindergarten to low-income families—although Casey would add a focus on kids with special needs.