Congresswoman Hirono Selected as Conferee on Head Start Bill
Welcomes Opportunity to Help Strengthen Successful Early Education Program
Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono has been selected by Congressional leaders to serve on the conference committee that will finalize legislation to improve Head Start, the nation's premiere early education program.
Congresswoman Hirono said, "I have visited a number of Head Start classes in Hawaii, and I know that Head Start is an important program that helps children in Hawaii and our nation arrive at kindergarten prepared to succeed. I am pleased that I have the opportunity to help shape legislation that will strengthen Head Start."
House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller said, "Appointing Congresswoman Hirono to serve as a conferee was a logical choice given her demonstrated commitment to improving the quality of early childhood education and her effective advocacy for America's children."
As a conferee, Congresswoman Hirono will participate in a meeting today involving Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate to reconcile House and Senate versions of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act (H.R. 1429).
The legislation improves program quality by implementing proven methods to teach pre-literacy and vocabulary skills, increasing teacher qualifications and salary, and promoting greater accountability in how programs use their funding.
Congresswoman Hirono said, "I am particularly interested in improving the quality of early education programs. That is also the goal of a bill I introduced known as the PRE-K Act. Children acquire a strong foundation for success by participating in early education, as long as they are in a high quality program."
In August, Congresswoman Hirono introduced the Providing Resources Early for Kids (PRE-K) Act. This legislation (H.R. 3289) establishes a partnership between the federal government and the states to improve state-funded preschool programs serving children from birth to age five. It is intended to supplement vital services provided by other federal programs like Head Start.