Gluesenkamp Perez, Nunn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Pre-K Programs in Rural and Low-Income Communities

May 06, 2024

Last week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) and Rep. Zach Nunn (IA-03) introduced the bipartisan Pre-K for Kids Act. The legislation would support state-led pre-kindergarten programs in low-income and rural communities. 

Studies show that children have a greater chance for success when they are exposed earlier in life to learning and literacy activities. Pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-old children reduces educational gaps while promoting positive long-term benefits to a child’s development, speech, and more. 

However, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research, during the 2020-21 school year, 300,000 fewer children attended preschool, making it the most significant drop in 20 years. Just 31 percent of low-income children were in preschool programs by the fall of 2021.

The bipartisan Pre-K for Kids Act would require the U.S. Department of Education to establish a new grant program to support state educational agencies to facilitate pre-kindergarten programs that serve families with a household income of $30,000 or less and that are likely to have a positive fiscal impact on local government entities.

“Your bank account shouldn’t dictate the quality of early education services your kids are able to access,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “As a mom, I’m excited to work with Rep. Nunn to invest in the future of all our kids.” 

“As a dad of six, I’m committed to investing in Iowa’s future. Pre-kindergarten education is critical to laying a strong foundation for our kids,” said Rep. Nunn. “Every Iowan, regardless of zip code or income deserves access to affordable education opportunities. We have an obligation to ensure that public education is meeting the needs of every single child.” 

Full text of the bill is available here.

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