President Obama in North Carolina on Wednesday (Photo: ERIN BRETHAUER, GANNETT)
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President Obama plans to promote early childhood education during a visit Thursday to a suburb of Atlanta.
In a second day of follow-up to his State of the Union speech, Obama visits a pre-kindergarten class at an early childhood learning center in Decatur, Ga.; he will discuss proposals for universal preschool, expanded Head Start, and other education programs.
"In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children ... studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own," Obama said during his address Tuesday night.
The White House plan includes public preschool funding for any 4-year-old whose family income is 200% or less of the federal poverty level.
Obama is also proposing an Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program, allowing states, communities, and child care providers to compete for grants to serve children 3 years old and younger.
Some Republicans called Obama's plans too expensive and ill-conceived in an era of high debt.
Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said Georgia is "home to an 8.6% unemployment rate. Because of President Obama's failed policies, hundreds of thousands of hard-working and enterprising Georgians can't find a job and countless more have stopped looking all-together."
Source: USA Today | David Jackson and Larry Copeland