President Obama's Plan For Universal Preschool

President Obama's Plan For Universal Preschool

President Barack Obama proposed the biggest expansion of early childhood education since Head Start was launched nearly 50 years ago. Diane and her guests discuss the debate over the value of universal preschool.

Before leaving for a weekend getaway, President Barack Obama announced details of a plan to make high-quality preschool available to all American children. It would use federal money to make preschool classes available for more low- and moderate-income children. But the goal would be to persuade states to offer preschool to all who wanted it. The program could cost as much as $10 billion a year -- nearly a tenth of the entire federal education budget. Supporters say it would provide long-term benefits to all American children. Critics are concerned about the scope of the program, its quality controls and the criteria for participation. Diane and her guests discuss the president's plan for universal preschool.


Arne Duncan

Secretary of Education in the Obama administration.

James Heckman

Nobel laureate and University of Chicago economist.

Amy Scott

education correspondent at American Public Media's Marketplace.

Douglas Besharov

professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States and former Welfare Studies scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

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