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WATCH: Obama Pushes Pre-K Program In Georgia Speech

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WATCH: Obama Pushes Pre-K Program In Georgia Speech


President Barack Obama visited a preschool in Decatur, Georgia on Thursday to push for the early-childhood education reforms that he introduced during his State of the Union address.

Speaking before a group of about 65 teachers, Obama insisted that “study after study shows the achievement gap starts off very young,” so “education has to start at the earliest possible age.” To that end, he proposed making high-quality preschool available to every child in America.

“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on,” Obama said, citing a study on Oklahoma’s universal pre-kindergarten program. “In states like Georgia that have made it a priority to educate our youngest children, states like Oklahoma, students don’t just show up in kindergarten and first grade more prepared to learn, they’re also more likely to grow up reading and doing math at grade level, graduating from high school, holding a job, even forming more stable families.”

“This works,” Obama added. “If you are looking for a good bang for your educational buck, this is it right here.”

Obama concluded his speech by saying his proposal is about “giving our kids the best possible shot at life; equipping them with the skills, education that a 21st-century economy demands; giving them every chance to go as far as their hard work and God-given potential will take them.”

Earlier Thursday morning, the Obama administration released its full plan for early-childhood education. The plan includes a state-federal partnership to guarantee pre-K to all 4-year-olds in families at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, and expansions to the Early Head Start program and Nurse Family Partnerships, among other iniatitves. Obama declined to put a price tag on his proposal during the speech, although he promised during the State of the Union that it wouldn’t add “a single dime” to the deficit.

Obama’s plan has won praise from education advocates such as Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund. “Today President Obama has fully embraced the importance of early childhood development, putting forward a plan that supports the effective development of disadvantaged children from birth to age five — and will move America forward for generations to come,” Perry said in a statement. “Acknowledging the ironclad links between early childhood development and economic development will go down in history as the turning point for building a stronger America through better education, health, and economic outcomes that sustain generations to come.”

The plan faces an uncertain legislative future, however. Although Republicans such as Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin and Georgia governor Nathan Deal have supported expanding early-childhood education, congressional Republicans are more hesitant. As House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) told the Wall Street Journal, “before we spend more taxpayer dollars on new programs, we must first review what is and is not working in existing initiatives.”

President Obama’s full remarks can be read here.

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Dominick Vila February 14, 2013

    It would not surprise me if this specific proposal is one of the most offensive to Republicans. Those that don’t hesitate to engage in corporate welfare and crusades, are likely to interpret a program designed to improve the academic progress of American childres as a manifestation of evil socialism, and something that must be prevented at all cost. Let’s face it, Halliburton, Blackwater USA, the Bernie Maddoff’s of this world and all the other darlings that donate to the GOP and embrace their agenda will probably don’t get a cut from this. The only ones that will benefit are our children and grandchildren, and unemployed teachers. Evil, very evil.

    1. Fern Woodfork February 14, 2013

      You Right As Always My Friend!! Every Child Needs To Have A Chance Here In America And For The GOP/Tea Party To Stop Funding The Head Start Program Shows Just How Evil They Really Are!!! 🙁

      1. idamag February 14, 2013

        Fern, the T-party is probably against a good education. Smart people are not going to vote for them.

        1. Fern Woodfork February 14, 2013

          Well Until The GOP Unglue Their Lips From The Tea Party Asses It’s Both!!!

          1. RobertCHastings February 15, 2013

            Dear Fern, please tone down your rhetoric. You sound too much like one of “them”. It is interesting that all the posts on this page regarding the article above are from obvious Democrats. Head Start was begun during the Carter administration, at a time when, believe it or not, much of the country favored such liberal programs. And it is apparent that the Republicans, over the past three decades, view Head Start and similar programs as liberal boondoggles, regardless of the fact that study after study has shown it to be effective in doing just what it states to do – prepare underprivileged children for school. Those of us who have worked in Head Start programs have seen 1) the backgrounds of the children who qualify for it, and 2) the advances those children make while in the program, preparing them, as the Mission Statement says, for a better beginning to their education and for life.
            The antithesis to Head Start was the No-Child-Left-Behind program which, regrettably, Ted Kennedy was talked into co-sponsoring. As has been shown in Texas, from where Bush borrowed the program, and the rest of the country., Bush’s NCLB program, partly because its lack of funding, but also because of 1)its teaching to the test, 2)ridiculous amount of paperwork, 3) and total failure to meet the goals proposed, or expected. Subsequent to its approval by Congress NCLB was shown to be a failure even in Texas, where it was, soon after Bush’s first election, dropped. Studies showed that, although there were minor improvements in scores in Texas from the program, these were largely due to the incontrovertible fact that students in Texas who were likely to lower the overall scores on the tests were encouraged to drop out of school, giving Texas one of the highest dropout rates in the country, a great disservice to the people of Texas and to the people of the US.
            President Obama’s plan will build on the success of Head Start, by offering further pre-school opportunities to more low and middle income children, following a them he has stated throughout his presidency, that education is our one sure pathway to a successful future, both individually and collectvely. If our youngsters begin their schooling with no understanding of the basics, they will fall farther and farther behind their classmates, and this country will fall farther and farther behind our competitors.

          2. robert February 15, 2013

            Really, Head Start was cut by the Reagan administration and replaced with privately owned Early School and nursery programs. It was mainly cut due to the glutting of such programs appearing on every corner and private homes, taking away funding from the private owners it was intended to go to. No Child Left Behind could have been a good program for early learning and infusing into children an interest in education, but by 2011, many, many children were sadly left behind when Republican/Tea Bag governors and legislators began to cut that program along with every educational program across America. The result of these cuts were mainly to manipulate education into the private sector where vouchers would have been allocated to parents. That was canceled by the courts who found it unconstitutional, but the cuts to education continues, creating a pipeline from schools to prisons across America.

          3. Fern Woodfork February 15, 2013

            Dear RobertCHastings Stop Trying To Tell Me Now To Fucking Talk!! Raise Your Damn Kids I’m Grown Ass Working Woman !! I Talk The Way I Want To If You Don’t Like It Don’t Read It Get It!!! Freedom Of Speech Is What It’s Called In America!!! Just Keep It Moving Don’t Be A Hater Like The Trolls!!! Seeing How I Got 16,483 Likes To Your 646 Likes Maybe You Best To Shut Up And Try To Catch Up!!!!

    2. Frances Cappelletti February 14, 2013

      If the tea party wants to keep kids under educated then they can keep claiming–lazy, welfare takers, low income workers, takers, etc…We know that young children absorb knowledge at a quicker rate than anyone else. From when they are born they are little sponges, acquiring learning and loving it. Pre-school is good for them and good for our Country. It will save us money in the long run.

    3. idamag February 14, 2013

      Dominick, I just now watched a show, where a Professor at a college in Chicago talked about an experiment with Pre K children versus those states who do not have that program. The kids are graduating more ready for either college or the job market. He says the statistics from Oklahoma and Georgia back this up.

  2. Betta February 14, 2013

    Your email subject said “Obama: Give Every Kid A Chance”

    These kids don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Your illegal alien messiah has already SPENT most ALL of their money they haven’t even earned yet!

    You guys will rue the day you supported and illegal alien LIAR! Good thing he didn’t grow up in the house I grew up in. He wouldn’t have a skinny ass left after my daddy got done applying a well deserve BELT to it for LYING! My daddy HATED LIARS. If he had grown up in my house, you’d have a decent human being as your president. AND he would be a natural born AMERICAN with a CERTIFIED birth certificate and REAL SSN# to match!!!!! NOT a LYING POS.


    1. metrognome3830 February 14, 2013

      I can see you are a decent human being. Or at least your daddy thinks so. Apparently daddy hated liars but was soft on hatred and bigotry.

      1. Fern Woodfork February 14, 2013

        And She’s All Three A LIAR, A Racist And A Hater!!!

        1. metrognome3830 February 15, 2013

          I think you are right, Fern.

    2. DukeDacat February 14, 2013

      Hwey Bettashit, you grewed uup in yourin Dadddys house, why aini yous President of this USA

    3. Frances Cappelletti February 14, 2013

      No wonder you are so full of hate…you were beaten with a belt. Who is an illegal alien?

    4. robert February 15, 2013

      It’s quite obvious your daddy did a great job on you. YOU BETTA REDNECKONIZE YEAH!

  3. Bob Brindell February 14, 2013

    Great plan! Never too early for children to start structured learning. Only way to improve it would be to make free pre-school available for all 4 year olds.

    1. Plznnn February 14, 2013

      Yeah Bob, FREE. Won’t cost one dime to get Millions of more kids in school. WOW, and these people vote?

  4. Plznnn February 14, 2013

    Hey yeah! Let’s get all kids a chance, every kid that makes it past abortion, get them in school while still in diapers. This will increase jobs in the education sector. Just add it to the National Debt, and make sure we give Amnesty to Millions more so they can enjoy our schools too. The taxpayers won’t mind, we have plenty of cash.

    1. Independent1 February 14, 2013

      My hunch is that you, Betta, Lana, Obozo, Montana Bill and a number of other right-wing wackos who love to post in these threads are clear examples of kids who got started in education at a later age and never never developed mentally beyond the stage of dementia. You made that pretty clear by your nonsense comment: The taxpayers won’t mind, we have plenty of cash. That statement demonstrates that you quite clearly missed the point of the entire article – which is paying a little up front to start children into learning at an early age, will make them much more productive citizens later, which as Obama pointed out WILL SAVE $7 DOLLARS LATER FOR EVERY $1 WE SPEND NOW.


      1. Fern Woodfork February 15, 2013

        You’re Wasting Your Time These People Are Brain Dead They Just Don’t Get It!!!

        1. idamag February 15, 2013

          A lot of people home school because they are whacky and don’t want their children exposed to the “theys” out there. They program these children to be paranoid, too.

      2. robert February 15, 2013

        Independent1, they all got beat, kicked in the heads, and burned with cigarettes by their daddies. The trauma from their childhood abuse has affected their physiological, psychological, and sociological growths. They walk around twitching and grumbling to themselves all day long, and I think some therapist has suggested that they post on the web to vent their frustrations!

        1. idamag February 15, 2013

          I can’t imagine any of them coming from a normal household.

      3. idamag February 15, 2013

        Ind, another result of that study was there was less crime among kids who attended preschool. Less crime means less taxpayer money going to incarcerate.

  5. lana ward February 14, 2013

    He wants our kids indoctrinated at the earliest age possible to hate America!!!

    1. robert February 15, 2013

      I bet your daddy beat the shit out of you with a belt too. That’s why you’re so confused and dysfunctional, an alcoholic cat woman. The trauma from those beatings has stunted your maturity!

  6. idamag February 14, 2013

    You can see by some of the comments, on this board, why T party people don’t want kids well educated. You have the former welfare queen who got pregnant in high school, went on welfare, and took our money to support her kids for years. People like her and a couple of others show the need for better education in this country.

    1. robert February 15, 2013

      idamag, watch the signs while driving: CAUTION: ZOMBI X-ing! WATCH FOR ZOMBIES YIELD FOR ZOMBIES!

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