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Pre-K's worth, affordability ripe for timely discussion

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: March 19, 2013

Investing in the state's youngest students is wise. Many Oklahoma students tend to start their school careers well behind their peers. To the extent that early childhood education can level the playing field — or at least keep the gap from continuing to widen — it's money well spent. But pre-K isn't the proverbial silver bullet. It's simply the beginning of a very long road with many twists and turns.

Details are sketchy, but Obama proposed working with states for pre-K expansion. State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi told the Journal she's not much interested in taking federal money for pre-K if it comes with strings attached, even though she and other education leaders are asking state lawmakers for increased common education funding.

It's too soon to know whether Obama's plan will fizzle out. And frankly, even if it does, it's not a bad thing for Americans to have meaningful conversations about the importance and affordability of school readiness and how to better prepare children for school at a time when children are expected to know more and do more at an increasingly early age.

If we're going to talk about education — and talk we must — the beginning is a good place to start.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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