Congress: Prioritize Early Childhood Education in Student Success Act

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 26, 2015) – Save the Children Action Network today called on the U.S. House of Representatives to vote for amendments that prioritize high-quality early childhood education as part of the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), the next iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The House is expected to vote today on amendments to the Student Success Act, with a vote tonight or tomorrow on the final bill.

“Today Congress has the opportunity to vote for kids, and Save the Children Action Network calls on our representatives to prioritize several key amendments to the Student Success Act that will make early childhood education more readily available for American children,” said Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network. “The Pay for Success amendment is a great step forward in utilizing new and creative financing methods for K-12 education, and is critically needed now to finance early childhood education around the nation.”

Yesterday, several key amendments were introduced to prioritize early education provisions in the bill, including one that would allow states and local education agencies to use the innovative financing mechanism Pay for Success to create grants to foster professional development for teachers. The bipartisan Pay for Success amendment, offered by Representatives Todd Young (R-IN) and John Delaney (D-MD), would save money for taxpayers because private investors assume upfront financial risk, and the government only pays if the teacher training achieves specific, evidence-based results.

Another amendment to H.R. 5 would allow ESEA funding for early childhood professional development training for early learning educators.

Earlier this month, Save the Children Action Network joined a coalition of more than 40 organizations, known as the Grow American Stronger Coalition, in releasing recommendations to Congressional leaders on the need to incorporate strong early childhood education provisions in ESEA. The letter details the considerable research that links high-quality early learning programs to boosting health, education, and economic outcomes for children and families. It also calls for the creation of a dedicated funding stream for early childhood education for low-and-moderate income families.

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Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.