Ms. MENG. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to strongly urge my colleagues' support for the Early Childhood Education Professional Improvement Act, H.R. 3357, which I introduced earlier this week with Congressman Jared Polis. Our bill would establish a framework of incentives and standards for the much-needed education and development of pre-K teachers.
Equality of opportunity cannot be achieved without ensuring that all American children have access to high-quality pre-K. By the age of 2, affluent children already know 30 percent more words than low-income children. These disparities are then exacerbated when affluent children attend high-quality pre-Ks and poorer ones don't even attend pre-K at all.
Senior military leaders, budget wonks, economists, and education advocates all agree that pre-K reform is essential and necessary for a strong and prosperous America. Furthermore, it is the most cost-effective investment in education we can make.
Let's do this now, and let's do this right. Let's work together for high-quality pre-K for our children.