Help Children Succeed With Publicly Funded Preschool

Target: President Joe Biden

Goal: Institute universal preschool for every U.S child.

Public education in the U.S. currently starts with kindergarten, typically around age 5 or 6. Research tells us that kids are more likely to succeed in school when they have access to early education. However, in most states access to preschool education is limited to those who can afford it. A lack of universal preschool is driving a wedge into the economic and racial divide that the U.S. education system is already ailing from.

There is a simple solution, though, that one county recently put into place: universal preschool. But it’s not just the children in Multnomah County, Oregon that deserve the promise of early education. Right now, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Vermont, and Florida are the only states that provide universal preschool for their kids, plus Washington D.C. Like Multnomah, some counties in the country have taken it upon themselves to provide this vital education. But the gaps in this system are unavoidable, so it’s important that early public education be mandated on a state level. Every state for every kid!

Decades of data tell us that early education sets kids on a path for success. 86% of kids in D.C., for example, finished their guaranteed preschool programs at levels showing they were ready for kindergarten. Due to lack of access only about half of age-eligible kids actually attend preschool at all. Without universal preschool, low-income families, rural communities, and communities of color are the ones punished. Because of the increasing cost of preschool and early childcare, their kids are shut out from opportunities. This feeds the increasing inequity in the United States’ educational system, which can easily make the leap to the professional market. It is the beginning of a terrible cycle.

Universal preschool not only enriches kids’ lives and prepares them for success in their school years; it provides desperately needed childcare for working families. It also evens out inequality in the workforce, since primary caregivers are more often women. The female workforce grows when universal preschool is present.

Children cannot choose what circumstances they are born into, but their communities can choose to support them, no matter those circumstances. Sign the petition in support of every U.S. state adopting preschool for all.

PETITION LETTER

Dear President Biden,

Multnomah County, Oregon just introduced legislation for universal preschool. They have now joined four states and Washington D.C in this practice, but the uneven and unequal application of these programs leaves massive holes. Some counties have stepped up to fill in the gaps, but they are not nearly enough.

Universal preschool is vital because decades of study have shown that early education makes a large difference in the overall educational success of children. Because we lack these programs, preschool is limited to families that can afford them, which drives a further wedge into the economic and racial divide that the U.S education system is already suffering from.

Legislating universal preschool will only lead to positive changes, as more children will gain access to early education, working-class families will gain access to vital daycare, and women who tend to be primary caregivers will have better opportunities to join the workforce.

Please, make sure that every child has access to universal education.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Seattle City Council


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