NSBA's Position on Early Childhood Education

Young elementary school students sitting on floor in rows singing

Houston ISD/Dave Einsel: http://www.houstonisd.org

NSBA Supports High-Quality Pre-K Education Through a Voluntary Role for Local School Districts

NSBA has long recognized the benefits of high quality pre-k education and supports a voluntary role for local school districts. Among NSBA’s recent actions, we:

  • have established a policy that urges the federal government to grant flexibility to school districts to establish preschool programs for all three- and four-year-olds through a separate funding stream that develops, coordinates, and enhances the quality and availability of preschool programs;
  • support P-16 (preschool through postsecondary) collaboration among various sectors of education with business, industry, and government to enhance teaching and learning opportunities so that all students are prepared to live in and contribute to a vibrant society; and
  • advocate including voluntary pre-k education as a component of federal education programs, including the ESEA reauthorization and other bills and initiatives.

However, the current federal funding crisis means that new initiatives may come at the expense of existing resources. Therefore, it is important for any federal policy on pre-k to support the school district role in early learning options and:

  • be voluntary;
  • be separately funded to avoid reducing services to children who currently receive federally funded assistance; and
  • respect the variation in local circumstances and local authority to address them by permitting flexibility in the use of federal funds.

What You Can Do

NSBA urges Congress to create a new federal grant program to help support high-quality preschool programs for all children whose families wish them to attend.

  1. Write a letter to your Representative and Senators. Recruit at least two other school board members to do the same. Use NSBA’s Legislative Action Center to find your elected officials by zip code.
  2. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper describing why quality early childhood education is vital to your community. You can use the talking points on early childhood education as a guide.

Encourage your local school board members to call their members of Congress and ask them to prioritize funding Head Start and other quality preschool programs. Here’s how to contact your Representatives and Senators.

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