President Obama will give his State of the Union address at 9:00 tonight, and Education Week and The Huffington Post are reporting he is likely to announce an investment in early-childhood education. Education Week reporter Alyson Klein writes, “Advocates are expecting some sort of policy proposal, even though the president isn’t likely to have a lot of new money for a big, new initiative.”
Quality early education is one of the priorities that NEA President Dennis Van Roekel has asked President Obama to address. In a letter he sent President Obama Friday, Van Roekel outlined policy priorities he hopes the president will focus on in his State of the Union speech. These priority areas also include affordable higher education, measures to prevent gun violence and ensure school and campus safety, and continued economic recovery, bolstered by increased investments in education and other programs that spur economic growth.
Van Roekel wrote,
NEA members, who live and work in almost every community in this great nation, share the optimism, yet lingering concern, of most Americans. Our members still see the impact of the troubled economy as their students continue to come to school hungry, sick or in need of counseling and other services. We try every day to mitigate the isolation and depression that so many students feel due to bullying, cultural and language differences within their schools, difficult family environments, and more. We see parents every day who worry about whether their jobs are secure and how they will afford to send their children—our students—to college.
Will you be watching the State of the Union tonight? What do you think President Obama should address?