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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

November 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Free preschool? 50,000 Washington children could qualify under proposed bill

Sen. Patty Murray. Photo by Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

Photo by Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), along with 11 other lawmakers, today proposed a bill that would help carry out President Obama’s pledge to offer every child in the country a chance to attend a high-quality preschool.

The bill, as explained in a story by Seattle Times reporter Kyung Song, would help states provide free preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families.

See Song’s story for more details, but here are a few headlines: Some 50,000 Washington students could possibly qualify. States would have to contribute money to match the federal grants. The bill calls for all preschool teachers to have bachelor’s degrees. The initial price tag for the first five years: $34 billion.

The bill would require state-funded kindergarten as a condition for federal grants — a full day, not the half day that Washington state guarantees. But according to Murray’s office, states such as Washington that are moving toward providing full-day kindergarten classes could qualify, too.

What are your thoughts on expanded preschool? Weigh in by leaving a response to our Question of the Week.

Comments | More in News | Topics: early-childhood education, Patty Murray, preschool

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