House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) today released the following statement after President Obama spoke in Decatur, Georgia about his new early childhood education proposal:
If the president believes this is an important initiative, he owes Congress and the American people answers to some basic questions.
Will the plan be duplicative? Countless early childhood programs already exist at the state and federal levels. The president needs to explain how this program will be different.
Will the plan be affordable? We all want to give children a solid foundation for a bright future, but that also means we can't saddle them with even more debt.
Most importantly, will this plan be effective? The federal government has a poor track record of managing early childhood education initiatives, with mounting evidence that Head Start may not be helping students as much as we had hoped. These are important questions that won't be answered at a campaign-style rally. I am willing to have a serious dialogue with the administration if they are willing to offer less rhetoric and more facts. I am confident we can find ways to promote parental choice, ensure an appropriate federal role in education, and serve our nation's most vulnerable youth -- without offering more empty promises to our children or adding more debt onto the backs of taxpayers.