California’s budget compromise adds a pre-kindergarten year for all 4-year-olds, funds 200,000 fresh child care slots, and modestly raises wages for pre-K teachers and subsidized child-minders. These bold advances seemed unimaginable in the state Capitol just weeks ago.
President Biden will soon detail his promise of free access to preschool for all young children, and the idea polls high among the nation’s parents. But research shows that poor children benefit the most from pre-K. Shouldn’t we focus aid on their families?
As relieved educators return to school, will old habits snap back? Hopefully not, for this is a poignant moment that should not be wasted. Many teachers are not only weathering the pandemic, they are crafting novel ways of motivating kids and tailoring instruction, even partnering with parents in potent ways. They just might reinvent classrooms.