Universal Pre-K Another Progressive
With Democrats’ multitrillion dollar Build Back Better initiative hitting a wall in the U.S. Senate, President Joe Biden has suggested that components of the bill be advanced separately. One of these components is a plan for government funded universal pre-K schooling.
It would fund school for some 6 million children ages 3 and 4.
Federal funds would be provided for six years, the first three funded 100% by the federal government, with the share provided by states increasing up to 40% by year six.
Total cost estimate generated by the bill’s sponsors is $200 billion.
But like the entire Build Back Better Plan, the cost estimate is far below reality.
Who will believe that the plan will die after six years?
American Enterprise Institute analysts suggest a more realistic price tag should be around $500 billion.
We’re talking here about adding hundreds of billions of dollars of new pre-K education infrastructure, requiring, by some estimates, around 50,000 new teachers, plus classrooms, etc.
It is an indication of either the quality or the honesty of thought going on that Democrats want to spend hundreds of billions at a time when the nation is already deeply in debt for a massive new, basically untested concept, to which, on paper, the federal government is only committed for six years.
What exactly are the merits of the idea?
Research indeed shows benefits from a well-structured pre-K program. But absent are solid conclusions of lasting benefits. Most likely to benefit are low-income, dis-