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Dept. Of Education Issues ‘Set of Rights’

By Eric Scheiner | June 30, 2015 | 3:08pm EDT
Dept. of Education Secretary Arnie Duncan (AP Photo)

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently released a new ‘set of rights’ covering children from preschool to college.

According to a DOE press release, “To help prepare every student for success in life, families have the right to:

  • Free, quality preschool;
  • High, challenging standards and engaging teaching and leadership in a safe, supportive, well-resourced school; and
  • An affordable, quality college degree.”

"I want to describe educational rights that I firmly believe must belong to every family in America — and I hope you'll demand that your leaders in elected or appointed offices deliver on them," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said during a speech Friday to the National Parent Teacher Association Convention.

The DOE says, approximately 60 percent of 4-year olds in the United States are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs and the issue needs to be addressed.

“The Obama Administration has made significant investments in early learning through the Early Learning Challenge and the Preschool Development Grants programs. The grants lay the groundwork for states to be prepared for the proposed Preschool for All program.

The Administration has asked Congress for an increase of $500 million for Preschool Development Grants as part of the President's FY16 budget request to expand this program to serve more children.”

Providing additional taxpayer funded resources to control the costs of college are part of the plan as well.

“The Obama administration is committed to restoring our world leadership in college completion and ensuring that every student has access to an affordable and high-quality postsecondary education,” according to the press release.

Duncan also addressed the need for new school standards, calling on Congress to replace the No Child Left Behind program, “with a strong, bipartisan law that delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child.”

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