Is investing in early learning critically important to our nation's economic success? Does the federal government have a role to play in ensuring that kids and families can access quality services? As we saw in last week’s early learning hearings, those debates are over among the bipartisan members of the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction. Now, as the National Journal’s Fawn Johnson points out, it’s the “how” part of the equation with which some members of Congress are grappling, as some cite fragmented programs as evidence against greater federal investment in early education. Kris Perry took to the Education Insiders blog to debunk this notion:
Let’s be clear. The goal here is not to pour money into fragmented government programs as our opponents claim. The objective is to spur state and local innovation to fill in the gaps between federal, state and local programs. Our best strategy is to build more comprehensive, on-the-ground programs with, in and around the infrastructure of federal investment and funding. We can improve federal programs while helping states build high quality services. If we want our children to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time, the adults must lead by example.
As we look ahead to 2014, governors from across the country have already expressed their commitment to early learning, as shown through their state of the state addresses and budget announcements.
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After another turn in the spotlight in last week's State of the Union address, early childhood education continues to hold center stage this week.