President Obama took up the issue of early education Thursday, unveiling a proposal to provide universal preschool to children in America.
The White House plan calls for the government to partner with states to provide preschool funding for all 4-year-olds from low and moderate-income families.
Obama made the pitch for his plan while visiting a Georgia pre-K program.
Some conservatives are calling this proposal federal overreach. Dr. Carlos Campo, president of Regent University, offers more insight, on CBN Newswatch, Feb. 14.
"Education has to start at the earliest possible age and that's what you've realized here in Decatur," Obama said.
As part of the initiative, the president also wants to expand the Head Start preschool program to include toddlers and infants of underprivileged families.
"Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning the better he or she does down the road. But here's the thing: we are not doing enough to give all our kids that chance," he said.
The education proposal doesn't have a price tag yet but the plan would be funded with federal matching dollars for families who earn at or below 200 percent of the poverty line.
States that expand preschool slots for middle-class families will also get extra government money.
But critics of the plan say states or private programs could spend the money and run the preschool programs more efficiently than the federal government.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are uneasy about an expanded federal role in pre-K. The president's plan will require congressional approval.