Washington DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a statement following a vote on his Strong Start Pre-K amendment to the No Child Left Behind rewrite currently on the Senate floor. The amendment was not added by a vote of 45-52.
“Today some Senators voted against making our tax code more fair for the middle class and making a substantial investment in locally driven Pre-K programs that would aid more than three million children across our nation, including over 93,000 Pennsylvania children. The facts are clear that if children learn more earlier in life they will earn more later. Investing in Pre-K isn’t just good for children and families it’s central to strengthening our economy and working to fix one of our nation’s most profound economic challenges- the lack of wage growth over the last 40 years. Numerous authoritative studies show that kids who receive high quality early learning have higher wages as adults. Early learning has touched the lives of countless children across Pennsylvania. One mother from Washington County said of her daughter that before Pre-K “She couldn’t write any of her letters or even recognize them. She has improved so much since the first day of class.” Another mother from Montgomery County said of her child’s experience with Pre-K, “He came into this program shy and with little verbal communication. He now talks nonstop and loves learning!” Each Congress since 2008, I’ve introduced Pre-K legislation and this is the first time it’s received a vote on the Senate floor. I appreciate the work that Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member on the Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, did to boost this measure and bring it to a vote. Senator Murray is a tireless advocate for our nation’s children and investments in early learning. While I had hoped for a better result I will continue to work to ensure that a substantial investment in Pre-K becomes law.”