A new report released by the United States Department of Education on Tuesday detailed the need for preschool programs in all 50 states.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act would expand access to early learning ?opportunities.
Indiana, with 85 percent of its 4-year-old residents not being enrolled in any preschool program, is ranked as one of the worst in the nation in terms of enrollment percentage. The state falls behind Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire and Utah and ties with Nevada in enrollment percentage.
Of the four million 4-year-olds living in America, almost 2.5 million of them, or about 60 percent, are not enrolled in any type of preschool program.
The report elaborated on the idea that being enrolled in a preschool program increases preparedness in primary education and a higher chance of attending college.
In a visit to Martin Luther King Jr. Early Childhood Center in Phoenix, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan voiced concern for the educational gap in America.
“Students have made enormous progress in recent years thanks to the hard work of educators, families and the students themselves,” Duncan said. “But we have so much farther to go, and making high-quality preschool available to all families who want it must be part of that.”
The ESEA will narrow achievement gaps and reflect the understanding that learning begins before preschool, Duncan said.