By Lillian Mongeau
House Republicans questioned the need for new early education programs and asked if the research showing the benefits of preschool has been oversold Tuesday at a Workforce and Education Committee hearing on early childhood programs.
“Serious questions remain as to whether these programs are producing positive results for the children they serve,” said committee chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., at the hearing.
President Barack Obama first proposed a new federal grant program to help states establish or expand publicly funded preschool programs in his 2013 State of the Union Address. He renewed that call in his 2014 address. A bill, called the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, which codifies the president’s proposal, was introduced in both houses in November. When the bill was first announced, Kline promised he would hold hearings on early childhood programs, though not the bill specifically, in early 2014. Tuesday’s hearing was the first.