Volume 14, Issue 13

Friday, June 26, 2015

Hot Topics

The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a rewrite of the Head Start regulations. Based on feedback and input from experts and the public they are calling for some important changes. Among other things, they plan to extend the school day and year, reorganizing and streamlining program standards, and reducing bureaucratic burden. This AP article addresses some aspects of the revision. This article from EdCentral outlines five of the changes in detail: extended day and year; removing burdensome regulations; limiting suspension and eliminating expulsion; monitoring attendance and addressing absenteeism; and allowing for local innovation.

The Office of Management and Budget, however, is saying in a blog post that “the President’s Budget provides a $1.5 billion increase for Head Start so that all Head Start children have access to a full school day and year of high-quality instruction and to increase enrollment. By contrast, under the funding provided by the House Republican bill, either more than 570,000 children in Head Start would not receive the full-day, full-year services they need to succeed, the program would serve some 140,000 fewer children as compared to the President’s budget, or some combination of both.” Also in head Start news, the Urban Institute has released a report on how Head Start programs set and use school readiness goals.

New on Preschool Matters...Today!

As part of an ongoing series of interviews with leaders in early childhood education, CEELO spoke with Jenna Conway, Executive Director, Early Childhood Education, Louisiana Department of Education, about their process of implementing major changes in Louisiana's early childhood program. 

Steve Barnett recently reviewed findings from the State of Preschool 2014 with state administrators. We’re planning updates and improvements for the 2015 Yearbook and we’d like you to weigh in. Read more here.

Resources

Quality

A study in the Child and Youth Care Forum reports on how carers select programs for children, and find that safety and interpersonal relationships with teachers are important. No relationship was found between selection factors and quality of classrooms.

Developmental Delays

“DEC Recommended Practices are a DEC initiative that bridges the gap between research and practice, offering guidance to parents and professionals who work with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Through recent collaborative work with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), the practices have been revised and updated, and a new set of DEC Recommended Practices is now available.” There is also a video.

 

Developmental Screening

Research Connections is highlighting Developmental Screening and Assessment as a topic of interest, and this links to resources available in that topic.

 

Self Regulation

PA Early Education News reported on Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from the Center for Child and Family Policy, at Duke University, noting that self-regulation can be strengthened and taught, and depends on "co-regulation" from parents or other caregiving adults.

At the starting gate

The Economic Policy Institute has a released a report on ‘Inequalities at the starting gate’ of Kindergarten, in terms of cognitive and noncognitive skills. A summary with infographics is also available.

ESEA

Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation has released a report on reauthorization of ESEA, including detailed analysis and policy recommendations.

State Advisory Councils

Research Connections identified this report summarizing “the activities of the State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care that were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

KEA Assessments

This resource from Research Connections “provides an overview of the assessment instruments currently in use or being developed by the 20 states that have been awarded RTT-ELC grants. It details which states are collaborating on KEA development, and it provides information on the time frames for developing and conducting the assessments.” 

Research Connections CEELO’s 50-state scan of how states approach evaluating early childhood teachers. 

CEELO Update

Resources Developed by States and Selected Cities to Support Financing Preschool Programs, by Michelle Horowitz, Kirsty Clarke Brown, and Lori Connors-Tadros, identifies the tools, reports, and guidance developed by 32 states and 4 cities (Denver, San Antonio, Seattle, and New York City) to support financing of high quality preschool programs in local communities and districts.

Calendar

Monday, July 27, 2015 - 8:00am to Saturday, August 1, 2015 - 5:00pm

Join OMEP for its 67th Assembly and Conference, Early Childhood Pathways to Success. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 1:00pm to Friday, October 2, 2015 - 5:30pm

ReadyNation, a membership organization working to strengthen business and the economy through effective investments in children and youth, is hosting the first Global Business Summit on Early Childhood Investments, October 1-2, 2015 in New York City. This free event will inspire and equip executives to take actions at the community, company, or policy levels that support young children. The event is for businesspeople, policy officials/staff and funders only. Others may attend with a team of business people. For more information and registration visit www.ReadyNation.org/2015Summit.

Early Education News Roundup

Thursday, June 25, 2015
(NBC News)

Recently a group of leaders, researchers and activists arrived at Chicago's Erikson Institute to attend an Early Learning Symposium, with the aim of boosting Latino educational outcomes. Organized by The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH), "Fulfilling America's Future: Research, Practice & Policy Advancing Early Childhood Education for Hispanics" continued the ongoing national conversation about Latinos and education, including the importance of family engagement and increasing STEM.

This two-day summit took place just a few months before the Initiative celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Hispanics are playing a pivotal role in the transformation of American education. Latinos represent almost 1 out of 4 Pre-K through 12 public school students. Though there has been significant progress in early education since the Initiative was founded in 1990 there is still a lot to accomplish. Currently only 45.4% of 3 and 4-year old Latinos are enrolled in early learning programs.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
(MyEasternShoreMD)

Queen Anne’s Early Childhood Advisory Council was established in 2012 through an initiative to create a statewide infrastructure of county-specific early childhood councils. The statewide movement resulted from nearly $50 million in early childhood education funding through the national Race to the Top fund, grant program jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.

Today Queen Anne’s Early Childhood Advisory Council includes nearly 30 local government agencies and non-profit organizations. To learn about the Council or its partner agencies, visitFacebook.com/QACearlylearning or email qaearlychildhood@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
(Huffington Post)

This is the second of my two-part post on kindergarten readiness. Read Kindergarten Readiness, Part 1, which focused on physical, behavioral, and social abilities.

In this post, I will share many of the early academic indicators of kindergarten readiness. The list is by no means comprehensive, but it will provide families with an understanding of what will be expected of their child and offer tips to help them prepare their child for a successful transition to kindergarten.

Kindergarten-Readiness IndicatorListens to and understands stories

What Families Can Do:
• Begin to read board books to your child as an infant.
• Read the complete story first, for enjoyment, without interruptions.
• During additional readings, ask questions about the story, and encourage your child to ask questions.
• Let your child turn pages, showing that he knows it is a story.
• Gradually introduce longer books that require more patience and focus.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
(89.3 KPCC)
The Los Angeles Unified school board blessed Superintendent Ramon Cortines' $8 billion spending plan Tuesday, funneling a $820 million increase in state funding next school year into teacher raises, maintenance and other programs cut during the recession.
 
As California's education budget grows to $53 billion, L.A Unified is one of many school districts using its share to shore up operations after years of recession-era cuts, among them layoffs of thousands of teachers, librarians and nurses from district schools...
 
But advocates chide the district for failing to seize the opportunity to seed new and improved services for the district's more than 500,000 high-needs students, those who are English learners, foster youth and children from low-income families...
 
The superintendent also oversaw negotiations with the teachers union and signed off on a 10 percent raise and large pension and healthcare packages. The cost of employing the district's more than 250,000 teachers is ratcheting up $124 million to more than $2 billion next year.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
(The Columbus Dispatch)

More 4-year-olds from low-income and working families will have the opportunity to for a pre-kindergarten education, the Columbus City Council decided on Monday.

The council approved $4.2 million for a program Mayor Michael B. Coleman created to prepare children for kindergarten. That’s about $800,000 more than the previous school year.

The city allocated $3.4 million last year to fund 350 slots for 4-year-olds.

“The goal is universal access to high-quality pre-K for all children living in the city of Columbus,” said Rhonda Johnson, the city’s education director.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
(ABC 7 KATV)
Registration kicks off bright and early at 8:30 AM on Tuesday for 300 newly created pre-school spots in the Little Rock School District.
 
The spots reserved for four year-olds in LRSD will expand the state's already largest pre-kindergarten education provider. 
LRSD pre-k expansion was funded by a federal grant facilitated by Arkansas Department of Health & Human Services. The four-year grant supports greater access to early childhood education for children in priority communities like Little Rock. 
 
Dr. Karen James, director of Early Childhood Education programming for LRSD, said there is a sustainability portion to the application submitted to receive grant money from DHS – the plan to continue to grow the pre-k options the Little Rock School District offers. 
Monday, June 22, 2015
(NJ Spotlight)
New Jersey holds a unique position in the national discussion about public preschool.
 
For the better part of a decade, the state has been seen as having one of the nation’s more generous models of publicly funded preschool, one largely spawned by the Abbott v. Burke school-equity rulings and serving more than 40,000 children in more than 30 of the state’s neediest districts...
 
In itself, the event held in Hamilton made some news. Speaking in one of the panels, state Senate President Steve Sweeney called expanded preschool one of his “top five” priorities, no small announcement from a man who not only runs the upper chamber but also is widely expected to run for governor in 2017.
 
The discussion was equally noteworthy for the feelings it evoked among the state’s preschool movement, which applauded New Jersey’s progress so far but also identified wide gaps in services...
 
Among those who crafted the Obama administration’s federal standards under the Race to the Top competition, Jones said now virtually every state has standards in place for early childhood education, and New Jersey remains a leader.
“New Jersey’s standards are really quite good, and one of the things is to keep remembering that is what you want to keep going back to,” she said.

 

Monday, June 22, 2015
(NY Times)
Children as young as age 3 will intervene on behalf of a victim, reacting as if victimized themselves, scientists have found.
 
With toys, cookies and puppets, Keith Jensen, a psychologist at the University of Manchester in England, and his colleagues tried to judge how much concern 3- and 5-year-olds had for others, and whether they had a sense of so-called restorative justice.
 
Monday, June 22, 2015
(Jefferson Public Radio)
Oregon has the lowest high school graduation rate of any state, less than 69 percent in 2013. The state's long-term plan to improve graduation rates starts really early - with preschoolers...
 
Research shows preschool builds a foundation for literacy. Oregon students who are strong readers by third grade graduate 77 percent of the time. If they’re not? The Oregon graduation rate is 53 percent.
“Kids who are in high-quality preschool — particularly low-income kids — are far more likely to graduate from high school,” said Swati Adarkar of the Portland-based Children’s Institute. “They’re far more likely to go on to college, they’re far more likely not to need special education as they go on in the elementary grades. These are all huge game-changers.”
Friday, June 19, 2015
(Economic Policy Institute)

This study seeks to broaden the debate by examining the education gaps that exist even before children enter formal schooling in kindergarten, and showing that the gaps extend to noncognitive skills, which are also critical for adulthood outcomes (Heckman 2008; Heckman & Kautz 2012). Regarding the analysis of early education gaps, this paper is modeled on Lee and Burkam’s 2002 monograph Inequality at the Starting Gate: Social Background Differences in Achievement as Children Begin School, which found that cognitive gaps between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds and races and ethnicities were both sizeable and statistically significant at school entry in kindergarten.1 This is important for policymakers because, if unaddressed, there is the potential that gaps persist over time and compound. Such early-in-life inequalities point to the need for substantial interventions to reduce them, including early educational interventions, to ensure that children arrive in kindergarten ready to learn and for compensatory policies to support these children throughout the school years (from kindergarten through 12th grade). Moreover, the social and economic disadvantages that generate these gaps should be addressed directly and eliminated through social and economic policies, not just education policies (Morsy and Rothstein 2015; Putman 2015; Rothstein 2004).

 

Friday, June 19, 2015
(Tampa Bay Times)

Coane is a member of Mission: Readiness, a group of more than 500 retired generals and admirals concerned about the nation's education system. He was the perfect keynote speaker for the United Way's Early Literacy Initiative luncheon and the core of his message was simple: Add national security to the list of reasons we need to improve education and convince state leaders to create a quality preK program.

How do national security and education relate?...

"Nearly three-quarters of our nation's young adults could walk into a recruiting station in downtown Tampa today and be turned away because they cannot meet the minimum qualifications to serve," said Coane, citing a Department of Defense study. "The primary reasons: They are either too poorly educated, they are unhealthy, they have a criminal record or some combination of all three."

And if we don't have a large pool ready to serve in the military, then we also don't have a large pool ready to meet the needs of businesses...

But you say the state has a voluntary prekindergarten program? Yes, but Coane stressed that if it's not a quality program, you're throwing money down the drain.

Trenam Kemker attorney Robert Buesing, vice chairman of the Hillsborough Early Learning Coalition, noted that although states like Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina meet all 10 quality standards set by the National Institute for Early Education Research, Florida meets only three of them.

Friday, June 19, 2015
(GSA Business)

A $50,000 grant will be used to extend a Clemson University program that teaches preschool caregivers methods to assist children with analytical skills and problem solving. The PNC Foundation grant aims to address the “changing needs of an economy that is increasingly based on knowledge and skills,” a foundation representative said...

The grant for the program, Building Environments for Early Mathematics Success, will help pay for professional development, classroom site and home visits and a period of feedback and reflection, said Sandra Linder, project director and associate professor of early childhood mathematics education.
 
Friday, June 19, 2015
(Ed Source)

The state’s largest school district plans to offer full-day classes and save thousands of school spaces for more low-income 4-year-olds in new transitional kindergarten classes, which will eventually replace a popular preschool program slated for elimination.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is set Tuesday to approve a budget that includes $14.3 million to expand its transitional kindergarten with new classes designed for children who turn 5 after Dec. 2. The current transitional kindergarten program is geared for children who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2.

Under Los Angeles Unified’s plan, about 2,800 additional transitional kindergarten spaces would be available for 4-year-olds in 117 schools in the fall. In 2016-17, the remaining 173 preschool sites would convert to transitional kindergartens.

Thursday, June 18, 2015
(Times-Picayune)

After some tweaks, Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Educationlargely approved child care advocates'preschool policy changes Wednesday (June 17). It was a victory for some preschool proprietors, who said the old policy gave local school systems too much power.

That policy tasks lead agencies -- mostly school systems -- with coordinating preschool enrollment for parishes. Daycare directors wanted to be involved in that process.

It gives school systems and other preschool staffers the authority to grade preschool programs. Because systems and other preschools also educate 4-year-olds from low-income families, the policy potentially lets a daycare's competitor be its judge, critics said.

Thursday, June 18, 2015
(MPR News)

A studyalso published in Science and spearheaded by the National Institute for Early Education Research summarized 123 papers written on the issue since 1960 and found that, ““Overall, looking across the entire research literature over four decades… preschool has substantial impacts on cognitive development, on social and emotional development, and on schooling outcomes.”

Cornish isn’t completely out of line; he is basing his claim on a high-profile, long-term study that had plenty of smart, qualified people behind it.

But Cornish’s claim obscures some pretty important facts.

There’s plenty of peer-reviewed and published research that shows there are lasting-benefits for kids who attend quality – and quality is the key word, here – pre-K. Those benefits include higher earnings, fewer interactions with the criminal justice system and better social skills, as well as better academic outcomes.

Thursday, June 18, 2015
(Vox)

When Democrats talk up universal pre-K, they often look to an unlikely place: red states. Georgia and Oklahoma both have big, publicly funded, and popular pre-K programs. This means Clinton can argue that pre-K is a bipartisan priority.

"Governors and state legislatures across the country are discovering the value of preschool. And this is bipartisan," Clinton said in New Hampshire. "You know, one of the states with a universal pre-K program in America is Oklahoma, about as red a state as you can get. But they have figured it out, the government and business leaders and families like, that this is a smart investment for them."

The programs in Oklahoma and Georgia were originally created by Democrats: Oklahoma's by a Democratic legislator and Georgia's by then-Democratic Gov. Zell Miller, who later switched parties. They've thrived since in red states with bipartisan support.

Thursday, June 18, 2015
(The Atlantic)

But it turns out that what ain’t so easy, even today, is ensuring that every child has access to preschool. Only 40 percent of 4-year-olds nationwide are enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, a good chunk of which are considered to be low-quality. According to a growing body of research, this contributes to great inequality in academic achievement. And although comprehensive data on the long-term benefits of preschool is hard to come by, experts tend to agree that having a quality early-education experience can have a significant impact on the first chapter of a kid’s life. The payoff appears to be especially strong for disadvantaged children, who might not otherwise have exposure to the stuff emphasized in quality preschools, such as vocabulary and good nutrition.

A combination of factors has made expanding access particularly difficult. The money part is B-I-G: Teaching young children can be pricey, entailing far more than naptime and playing with blocks, and securing the public funding for it is politically fraught. Head Start only serves the most economically disadvantaged of children: Virtually all of them live below the poverty line.

 
Thursday, June 18, 2015
(takepart)

“A growing body of research recognises that early childhood education and care (ECEC) brings a wide range of benefits,” according to the third edition of the OECD’s Starting Strong: A Quality Toolbox for Early Education and Care. That includes establishing a foundation for lifelong learning, a more level playing field for each child, overall reductions in poverty and inequality, and “better social and economic development for the society at large.”

Still, those benefits, the report continues, hinge on one word: quality. 

“Expanding access to services without attention to quality will not deliver good outcomes for children or the long term productivity benefits for society,” according to the report. “Furthermore, research has shown that if quality is low, it can have long-lasting detrimental effects on child development, instead of bringing positive effects.”

That’s usually where the debate breaks down, says Milagros Nores, the assistant director for research at the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. 

The best, most effective early-education programs must meet certain standards, including a curriculum, class sizes, and a low teacher-child ratio. At the same time, she said, all children—from poor minorities to better-off white kids—should have equal access to bridge a relatively narrow but widening achievement gap between middle-class and upper-class children. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015
(The Daily Journal)

Brown and lawmakers struck a $115.4 billion budget deal Tuesday, which will offer billions more dollars to public schools throughout the state and increase spending on early education.

The new budget deal, which is expected to be officially approved prior to July 1, includes $409 million more in spending on early education programs, which will grant greater access to preschool classes for nearly 15,000 students.

Jean-Marie Houston, director of early learning support services at the San Mateo County Office of Education, wrote in an email the effort of lawmakers aligns with local efforts to help as many young students as possible attend preschool.

“We are pleased that the legislature and governor have strongly supported investments in early learning by expanding access for families of low-income to quality preschool services,” she said.

Roughly 5,000 more students would be able to attend full-day preschool classes, and more than 10,000 preschoolers would have access to part-time programs, should the budget be finalized, according to a report from Early Edge California, an agency which encourages expanding preschool services.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
(OC Register)
 Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders announced a $115.4 billion California budget deal Tuesday that sends billions of dollars more to public schools and universities, boosts spending on social welfare programs that legislative leaders have made a priority and creates the state’s first tax credit for the working poor.
 
The budget deal includes $265 million to add 7,000 state-subsidized preschool slots and 6,800 for child care and extends the state’s health insurance program for the poor to children who are in the country illegally, at a cost of $40 million a year.
 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
(NY Times)
President Barack Obama's health secretary announced proposed regulations Tuesday for Head Start that would expand the 50-year-old early-learning program to a full school day and a full school year to better prepare children for kindergarten.
 
The program's current minimums are 3.5 hours a day and 128 days a year. Proposed new minimums would raise that to six hours a day and 180 days a year.
 
Only 57 percent of current Head Start preschool children are getting services for six or more hours a day, and only 31 percent receive services for 180 days or more, the administration said.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
(Newsleader)
Virginia does not fund universal preschool like other states, forcing parents to turn to private preschool options or to their local school division.
 
Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County offer free preschool, but due to a very limited number of slots, only the most needy children make it into the classroom. Waiting lists have continued to grow while funding has dwindled. Last year, 75 4-year-olds were on the waiting list for Augusta County Schools, said Andrea Riegel, preschool coordinator for the school division...
 
The school division looks to find the students with the greatest need, meaning those students who already have factors — such as coming from an impoverished home or having a single parent — that put their future success at risk.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
(Lancaster Online)

Opinion: The experiences a child has up to this point — at home, in preschool, in child care — shape his trajectory for life. We are creating human capital, and we only get one chance per generation to do it right. There is no rewind button for the first five years.

Everyone benefits from quality early learning, and here are ways businesses and community partners can play a critical support role for families and early learning programs.
 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
(EdWeek )

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton made her first high-profile education policy pitch Monday: universal preschool.

Specifically, Clinton wants to give every 4-year-old in America access to high-quality preschool over the next decade.

It's clear that Clinton, the former secretary of state and U.S. Senator, thinks she has a winning issue here. After all, there's been a lot of bipartisan interest in early education at the state level. But congressional Republicans, some of whom are seeking the GOP nomination, have been reluctant to invest big federal money in the policy, in part because of concerns over runaway federal spending.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
(MLive)

The district will continue to restructure special education services so more students are going home to their neighborhood school, she said.

In May, GRPS announced plans to include all children with disabilities in pre-kindergarten classrooms side-by-side with peers without disabilities this fall to enhance student learning and development.

The 23 eliminated positions are tied to that change, which would affect 319 GRPS Early Childhood Special Education students enrolled in the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), Michigan's state-funded preschool program for 4-year-olds. 

"Our focus on inclusion with special education is research backed and shows that these changes will positively impact student achievement while also presenting a cost savings," Neal said.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
(WNYC)

Families of about 140 children who applied for child care and pre-kindergarten classes at Nuestros Ninos in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, got a surprise recently when the city told them their 42-year-old neighborhood institution would not be an option for the fall. The news came well after the application deadline. 

"I was hoping she would stay here since I was one of the first ones to apply," said Jahayra Jimenez of her daughter Leah.

Executive Director Myriam Cruz said the impact spreads even farther, with families of another 200 infants through toddlers also in limbo because they're served by homecare providers affiliated with her agency. The future of Nuestro Ninos is in question largely because its landlord wants to raise the rent. Officials announced late Monday that the city, who holds the lease, secured the space through January, 2016, while it tries to reach a deal.

 
Monday, June 15, 2015
(WVTF NPR)

A number of studies suggest that young children who enter pre-kindergarten programs develop their learning skills more effectively than those who don't.

That's one reason why state lawmakers recently decided to examine and reform the Virginia Preschool Initiative.   One of the underlying issues is making sure that low-income children have access to—and take advantage of— those programs.

Some of the reasons why children don't enroll include lack of affordability, eligibility, and other challenges.

Lori Connors-Tadros with the Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes says most states do have publicly funded pre-K programs and some do target families in poverty, but low-income children gain more when they're in economically diverse classrooms.

Monday, June 15, 2015
(ABC 6 News)

Minnesota's House of Representatives has passed a beefed up public school budget bill, Dayton's top priority that triggered a special session.

Dayton vetoed the Legislature's bill with an additional $400 million for Minnesota schools, citing his desire for more funding and a prized preschool initiative. Sensing there wasn't enough support among lawmakers, the Democratic governor dropped his insistence for a half-day preschool program and settled for bringing up the new infusion to $525 million.

Monday, June 15, 2015
(EdSource)

The state’s largest school district is considering expanding its transitional kindergarten to more 4-year-olds – a move that could affect other districts statewide.

Los Angeles Unified School District lobbyists are seeking legislation that would change the birthdate required to enter transitional kindergarten – which provides an extra year of schooling for some students – and open the program up to more children at an earlier age. With the law change, the district is trying to find a way to save preschool slots that may be eliminated in one of its current programs, the School Readiness Language Development Program.

Transitional kindergarten is designed for children who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, those students who previously were eligible to enroll in kindergarten. In 2010, lawmakers changed the required 5th birthdate to begin kindergarten from Dec. 2 to Sept. 1.

Now, the Los Angeles Unified School District wants to offer transitional kindergarten to any 4-year-old, as long as they turn 5 sometime during the school year.

Monday, June 15, 2015
(New York Times (Opinion))

Economic segregation is a problem in preschool classrooms across the country. Decades of research show that poor children do much better academically in economically mixed classes than they do if they attend school only with other poor children. Research also shows that well-off children are not harmed academically by going to school with poor children.

Yet the funding sources that support public preschool often come with restrictions that undermine economic integration. The federal Head Start program is generally limited to very poor children. Most states restrict access to pre-K to low-income families or children with disabilities. Only Oklahoma, Florida, Vermont and the District of Columbia offer universal pre-K classes that enroll more than 70 percent of their 4-year-olds.

New York City has the potential to become a leader in creating economically integrated preschool classrooms. Rich and poor often live a few blocks from one another, and as the researcher Jennifer Stillman has demonstrated, middle-class parents are more likely to take a chance on sending their child to a high-poverty school for pre-K than for older grades.

Monday, June 15, 2015
(Politico)
In a 45-minute speech that often felt more like a State of the Union address than a rousing campaign rally, Clinton ranged widely, throwing in homages to past Democratic presidents, attacks on today’s Republicans, appeals to women, LGBT groups, climate activists, workers, and a hodge-podge of other traditional progressive causes.
 
If there was a clear theme to Clinton’s remarks, it was the “four fights” she vowed to wage on behalf of “everyday Americans”: building an economy for tomorrow, strengthening America and our core values, and revitalizing our democracy, in the campaign’s boiled-down language.