Pre-K/3-K and Community College Expansions Could Provide New Pathways To Success for Tens of Millions of Americans

PENNSYLVANIA — As students in Pennsylvania and across the country return to school this month, President Biden and Congressional Democrats are preparing to give countless students a better future through the biggest expansion of educational opportunities in generations. President Biden’s vital pre-K and community college investments will address disparities, build back our schools on a stronger and more equitable foundation. As we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, these investments in evidence-based approaches will shore up Pennsylvania schools struggling with the aftermath of COVID-19 and incentivize states to help our schools rebuild on a stronger and more equitable foundation.

Included in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda — currently being negotiated by Democrats in Congress —  are proposals to offer pre-kindergarten enrollment for every 3- and 4-year-old in the country, and tuition-free community college to every young adult.

President Biden’s plan would establish a national partnership with states to offer free, high-quality, accessible, and inclusive preschool for all three-and four-year-olds. This will benefit five million children, and save the average family $13,000 a year on preschool tuition. 

Preschool is critical to ensuring that children start kindergarten with the skills and supports that set them up for success in school. Research shows that kids who attend preschool programs are more likely to take honors classes and less likely to repeat a grade, do better in math and reading, and are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college. Studies also show the remarkable benefits of preschool programs that every young American would have the opportunity to participate in thanks to President Biden. 

Today, 70 percent of jobs are held by people with more than a high school degree. American workers need and deserve additional support to build their skills, increase their earnings, and remain competitive. President Biden’s plan will expand access to affordable postsecondary education. Specifically, Biden’s plan will offer two years of free community college to all Americans.

“As First Lady Dr. Biden says, ‘Any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us,’” said Rosie Lapowsky, PA Dems Spokesperson. “As students across Pennsylvania return to school, Democrats in Washington are fighting to ensure that every student will finally have the educational opportunities they deserve, and countries across the world will once again be fighting to keep up with our students.”