WASHINGTON, D.C. | January 15, 2016
President Obama spent a lot of time shoring up his legacy during his State of the Union address, which helps explain why he reiterated numerous calls for more programs, more spending, and more government to address the challenges facing the American people. Near the top of the president’s outstanding wish list were his demands for universal pre-K and free community college.
We all want every child to have a strong head start and for every American who wants to pursue a degree to do so at an affordable cost. But will two new programs and tens of billions of dollars in new spending turn these priorities into reality? Not likely. In fact, chances are pretty good these big-government ideas will end up doing more harm than good. For example:
When it comes to strengthening education for all Americans – regardless of age or background – spending more taxpayer dollars on more programs isn’t the answer. There are better, more responsible ways to help students and families, like:
- Improving our existing commitment in early childhood education. A high-quality early childhood education can prepare children for success in school and later in life. That’s why the federal government invests billions of dollars in Head Start. To help ensure our investment in Head Start yields lasting results for every child, House Republicans are developing reforms that will improve the quality of providers, encourage innovation at the state and local level, and enhance parental engagement.
- Fixing an outdated, bureaucratic higher education system. America’s higher education system faces many challenges, including soaring costs and burdensome regulations that stifle innovation. House Republicans are championing reforms that will empower students to make informed decisions; simplify and improve student aid; promote innovation, access, and completion; and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.
As Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said following the president’s speech,
The American people know we can do better, and that our best days are ahead if we place more faith in them and less faith in Washington … We have shown what’s possible when we work together on behalf of the people we are elected to serve.
Indeed, Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been able to work together and advance much-needed reforms that have helped:
Let’s hope the president will use his last year in office working with Congress to build on these achievements, instead of just building a legacy based on empty promises and failed policies.
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