Reintroduce and Pass Universal Pre-K

Reintroduce and Pass Universal Pre-K

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Income inequality is becoming more and more of an issue in the United States today. According to Pew Research, the highest 20% of families made more than half of US Income in 2018, the US also has the highest level of income inequality amongst other countries in the G7. The gaps between the rich and the poor in income are only growing, which is why we need to take a stand against income inequality. According to the Center for American Progress, Hispanic and African American children can be far behind white children who are the same age developmentally when entering Kindergarten, due to economic disparities. They can be 9-10 months behind in math skills, and 7-12 months behind when it comes to reading. While rates of people registered for early education have recently increased, that has mostly been for people who tend to have a higher socioeconomic status. Preschool has been shown to greatly improve a child's chance at success, it is a place where they can learn and grow while being more separated from their parents. This allows them to discover more of themselves. Preschool plays a big role in future success of the child. A quality Universal Pre-K system in the United States would be very beneficial in reducing the early childhood development gap that we see when children enter kindergarten today. If we were to institute a quality Universal Pre-K program in the United States the gap in achievement that we see between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds would likely decrease, meaning more children would be able to have an equal opportunity in achieving a better education and subsequently a better life. In 2019, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced a bill into Congress, that bill was H.R.4213 - Universal Prekindergarten and Early Childhood Education Act of 2019. The bill would provide grants to statewide programs that automatically enroll children of all backgrounds into a preschool program run by states. Those programs would run the length of a full school year and would be taught by teachers who are qualified to teach other grades. This petition is being introduced to get Representative Norton to reintroduce H.R 4213. We need to address the socioeconomic disparities in our youngest children and make sure that everyone no matter what their background, is offered quality early childhood education, in order for them to be on the trajectory of success in their later academic years.

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