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Video Explainer: Why Universal Pre-K Is a Hot Topic in This Year’s Democratic Presidential Primary

September 13, 2019

Early childhood education, particularly preschool, is getting attention in this year’s Democratic presidential primary. Nearly all the candidates support expanding universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. But they differ on who should get free pre-K— everyone, or just low-income families. Some studies show better academic and life outcomes for students who have had pre-K, like higher test scores, fewer discipline issues and higher wages as adults. But other research has found the benefits fade out as early as the end of kindergarten.

—Edited by James Fields

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2020 Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Love ‘Universal’ Pre-K. But When It Comes to Providing Schooling for America’s Youngest Students, Few Are Moving Beyond Talking Points