President Obama announced today more details about his plans to expand preschool access for four-year-olds.
Nationally, 28 percent of all four-year-olds in the US were enrolled in state-financed preschool programs in 2010-2011, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Obama wants to boost those numbers.
In Wisconsin, enrollment is already considerably higher than the national average— 55 percent of four year olds are enrolled in publicly financed 4K, and 90 percent of Wisconsin school districts offer the program.
Dave Edie is an Early Education Policy Analyst with the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. He says the past is one reason Wisconsin ranks sixth in the nation.
"Wisconsin has a long proud history in four year old kindergarten that goes back to the Constitution. The Constitution called for public education at no cost for children 4 through 18."
President Obama's plan, announced today, would provide matching funding to states for expanding preschool opportunities for four-years olds from low to middle income families. He's also proposing a competitive grant program to fund Early Head Start.