IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 12, 2009
Mrs. Boxer introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a program to help States expand the education system to include at least 1 year of early education preceding the year a child enters kindergarten.
This Act may be cited as the
Early Education Act of
Congress makes the following findings:
A national commitment should be established that all children have access to high quality early education.
Research suggests that a child’s early years are critical to the development of the brain. Early brain development is an important component of educational and intellectual achievement.
The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences reported that early education opportunities are necessary if children are going to develop the language and literacy skills necessary to learn to read.
Evaluations of early education programs demonstrate that compared to children with similar backgrounds who have not participated in early education programs, children who participate in such programs—
perform better on reading and mathematics achievement tests;
are more likely to stay academically near their grade level and make normal academic progress throughout elementary school;
are less likely to be held back a grade or require special education services in elementary school;
show greater learning retention, initiative, creativity, and social competency; and
are more enthusiastic about school and are more likely to have good attendance records.
Studies have estimated that for every dollar invested in quality early education, about 7 dollars are saved in later costs.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Early education program
Definition of early education
In this section, the term early education means not less than a half-day of schooling each week day during the academic year preceding the academic year a child enters kindergarten.
The purpose of this section is to establish a program to develop the foundation of early literacy and numerical training among young children by helping State educational agencies expand the education system to include early education for all children.
The Secretary is authorized to award grants to not less than 10 State educational agencies to enable the State educational agencies to expand the education system with programs that provide early education.
The amount provided to a State educational agency under paragraph (1) shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the program described in the application submitted pursuant to subsection (d).
Each program assisted under this section shall—
be carried out by 1 or more local educational agencies, as selected by the State educational agency;
be carried out—
in a public school building; or
in another facility by, or through a contract or agreement with, a local educational agency carrying out the program;
be available to all children served by such local educational agency; and
only involve instructors who are licensed or certified in accordance with applicable State law.
Each State educational agency desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require. Each application shall—
include a description of—
the program to be assisted under this section; and
how the program will meet the purpose of this section; and
contain a statement of the total cost of the program and the source of the matching funds for the program.
In order to carry out the purpose of this section, the Secretary—
shall establish a system for the monitoring and evaluation of, and shall annually report to Congress regarding, the programs funded under this section; and
may establish any other policies, procedures, or requirements, with respect to the programs.
Supplement not supplant
Funds made available under this section shall be used to supplement, not supplant, other Federal, State, or local funds, including funds provided under Federal programs such as the Head Start programs carried out under the Head Start Act and the Even Start family literacy program carried out under subpart 3 of part B of title I.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section not less than $300,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.
The table of contents in section 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended by adding at the end the following:
TITLE X—Early education
Sec. 10001. Early education program.