Washington Lawmakers Propose Universal Pre-K

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In his February State of the Union address, President Barack Obama outlined a $34 billion program called the Strong Start for America's Children Act that would go toward early childhood education over five years. In the wake of that proposal, lawmakers are putting forth one of their own—to provide preschool to three and four year olds who come from families with low to moderate household incomes, the Seattle Times reports.

Patty Murray, D-Wash., and 10 colleagues in the House and Senate, have proposed a bill that would take advantage of Strong Start funds to provide preschool to approximately 50,000 children in Washington State alone. Those funds would go toward preschoolers from families making up to twice the poverty line, or $47,100 for a family of four. It would also stipulate higher education requirements for preschool teachers and raise their pay to parity with K-12 educators.

The bill addresses a growing gap between those students who can read and write by their first day of kindergarten versus those who can't. 

In this week's edition of Boise Weekly, you can read about Idaho House member Hy Kloc's proposal to implement a pilot program that would test the efficacy of preschool in Idaho.