The Village Steps Up

Update: Newsday reports from Hillary’s speech today. “There are so many places to cut the money that is being spent in this government. Let’s start by cutting 500,000 of the private contractors the Bush administration has had who don’t do a job that is held accountable in any way,” Clinton said, adding that ending the Iraq war will also provide money for investing in programs.” and “If you add up all the benefits, it’s really astonishing,” the New York senator and former first lady said, citing one study that says for every dollar invested in pre-kindergarten, there is at least a seven fold return. “We consistently fail to invest in what will save us money.”

The New York Times notes:

A 2004 study in New York, by Clive R. Belfield of Queens College, found that offering universal prekindergarten to all children in the state would save up to $828 million over the course of their educations from kindergarten through 12th grade. The savings would come as a result of the reduced need for remedial services and reduced repetition of grades.

As of today however, only a few states and cities have functional prekindergarten classes. Hillary has come to the rescue. Hillary with experience on the issue dating back to her days at Yale University understands the importance of child care and education better than any other candidate running for president. Today she proposed a federal program to help states fund universal prekindergarten programs.

The program would be voluntary for states, which would be required to provide a dollar-for-dollar match and would not be allowed to reduce their current spending on pre-K, according to a summary of the plan provided yesterday by the Clinton campaign.

States would also be required to hire teachers with bachelor’s degrees and training in early childhood development; establish standards and curriculums devised for early learning; and maintain low teacher-child ratios in the program. The money could also be used to expand Head Start programs.

During the first five years of the program, the federal commitment would increase to $10 billion as states spend more on pre-K.

“Every child — not just children whose parents can afford it — should have the same chance to succeed and to fulfill his or her God-given potential,” Mrs. Clinton said yesterday in a statement.

Politico’s Mike Allen wrote today that “Even many Republicans will tell you that the presidency this cycle is Sen. Hillary Clinton’s to lose…” Well thought out proposals like this which come from years and years and years of see-it, feel-it experience are a big reason why Hillary is going to be the 44th president.


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