Governors Express Support for Early Childhood Education

July 19, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

homework-1421562While Congress has its hands full determining what to do with health care concerns and other issues making the headlines, the nation’s governors recently stressed that there is another topic that is just as important and desperately needs attention — early childhood education.

In a letter to Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and to Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the chair and ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the National Governors Association (NGA) encouraged support for strengthening the state-federal partnership on early childhood education.

“We urge Congress to build on the recent reauthorizations of the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Child Care Development Block Grant by elevating the federal government’s support for state progress on early childhood education during the 115th Congress,” they wrote. “Every dollar of current federal investment in early childhood education and child care is critical. However, current federal programs and investments in early childhood must be programmatically aligned, focused on quality and updated to maintain the pace of state-level early childhood innovation. A redesign of the federal early childhood education system would allow for these state-driven ideas to thrive.”

The governors recommended that Congress: (1) reauthorize current federal early childhood education programs together to allow greater coordination, alignment, flexibility and equity among state and local programs; (2) consider any proposed new early childhood education and child care programs or tax credits in regard to how they will complement current programs; (3) refrain from using funding mechanisms that would ultimately lead to a reduction in quality or federal support for early childhood education and child care; and (4) explore opportunities for early childhood alignment and support in federal social safety net programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

We agree with the NGA’s concerns about early childhood education and encourage Congress not to let this issue get placed on the back burner. A proper education is the foundation for a productive society.

Let us know your reaction to the NGA letter to Congress. We’d love to hear from you.


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