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AM News: Can Obama Sell Universal Preschool Plan to the GOP?

Can Obama Sell Universal Preschool to the GOP? Atlantic: The policy would guarantee preschool for 4-year-olds whose families earn 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less, and Obama framed it in a way to appeal to Republicans: It saves money. But as with all of Obama's proposals from the State of the Union that weren't executive orders, the question is not whether it's a good idea so much as whether it can pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

AMNewsConservatives Skeptical of Expanding Preschool and Federal Role NYT: Despite the outlines of a plan that White House officials said would use federal money in support of state-based preschool programs, conservatives said they were suspicious that it would be a foot in the door toward more big government. They also said there was little evidence that large-scale preschool programs do much good for children in the long run.

Obama's Preschool Program Would Target Low-Income 4-Year Olds AP: Obama also proposed letting communities and child care providers compete for grants to serve children 3 and younger, starting from birth. And once a state has established its program for 4-year-olds, it can use funds from the program to offer full-day kindergarten, the plan says.

'Big Three' Publishers Rethink K-12 Strategies EdWeek: The push continues for school districts to move away from paper textbooks and toward digital curricula and e-textbooks. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urged educators last year to move quickly to adopt digital textbooks and materials. Also last year, the Federal Communications Commission and the Education Department released a report, the "Digital Textbook Playbook," which provided a blueprint for schools to make the shift.

Utah High School Reverses Policy, Allows Same-Sex Valentines HuffPost: A Utah high school has reversed course this week, after controversy arose over a potential ban on same-sex Valentine's Day messages. The issue at Copper Hills High arose earlier this month, when members of the school's choir handed out fliers announcing that there would be "No Same-sex Delivery" of their singing Valentines, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

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While the president's pre-K proposal is intriguing, it's not immediately clear why local communities are not going to see this as yet another federal intrusion on matters traditionally handled locally. And Ms. Munoz's assurance that this new federal appropriation will magically "not add to the deficit" (in the New York Times story) is inadequate; the criterion should be to eliminate our annual operating deficit, as President Clinton did before Bush-Cheney ruined the fiscal position of the United States, and not merely hold the line at a permanent 1.2 trillion dollar annual deficit. And a third red flag is that "state preschool programs" would have to "submit to assessment programs": if this means a repeat of the disaster of No Child Left Behind, everyone should oppose what looked at first on the surface to be a very appealing initiative.

I just think this is going to cost way to much and not be something effective to really push the education curve of this nation. I think it is a wonderful idea for the future but would it not be beneficial to help those wanted to get into college with scholarships, or more alternative technical high schools?

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