Delaney Urges Colleagues to Support Pre-K for all Legislation
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) wrote to House colleagues in both parties today, urging them to support his Early Learning Act (H.R. 3542). Delaney’s legislation provides state governments with federal funding to establish or expand their pre-K programs, with funding coming from a 1.5% increase on individual income, dividends and capital gains above $500,000. Delaney’s legislation makes access to free pre-K for all a reality in all 50 states. The text of Delaney’s “Dear Colleague” letter is as follows:
Please join me in support of the Early Learning Act (H.R. 3542), a bill to create nationwide access to free pre-k for four-year-old children. Establishing national pre-k will reduce the achievement gap, will improve the education all our kids receive and make our country more competitive.
The Early Learning Act gives states the resources to create pre-k for all programs without increasing the deficit. The legislation provides states with up to $8,000 in funding per student, per year to provide free, high-quality, universal pre-k funded by a 1.5% increase on individual income, dividends and capital gains above $500,000. States can also use these revenues to expand existing pre-k programs.
To ensure quality, states must certify that they have an accreditation process in place and that any funding is only provided to accredited, not-for-profit pre-k programs. States will have discretion on the details of their programs, but they must provide access to free pre-k for all four-year-olds. These pre-k programs will remain optional for parents.
Every child in America deserves an education that will prepare them for the high-tech global economy of the future. That investment in our future should start early, so that all children have an equal opportunity to succeed. Decades of research have conclusively found that students enrolled in pre-k perform better in school, are more likely to attend college, have higher lifetime earnings and are more likely to own a home. Because pre-k makes it less likely that students will repeat a grade, less likely that they will need to receive additional special education assistance and less likely to be unemployed, conservative estimates show that every $1 dollar invested in pre-k generates a $7 dollar return.
I look forward to your support on this important piece of legislation.