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Action Tank Releases Comprehensive Tax Reform Plan to Improve Early Childhood Education in U.S.

Early education enrollment won’t decline over the next four years if Save the Children Action Network and its handful of partners can help it.

Save the Children Action Network has partnered with XL Catlin, Goldman Sachs, PNC Financial Services Group, Pearson, First Five Years Fund, First Focus, Institute for Child Success and the YMCA to form the Early Childhood Education Action Tank. The action tank released today a series of recommendations for how lawmakers can reform the country’s tax code in order to effectively break the cycle of poverty through universal access to quality early education services.

Specifically, the action tank encourages lawmakers to tackle tax reform for the benefit of early education in the following ways:

  • Expand tax credits and deductions
  • Expand municipal and private activity bonds
  • Social impact financing/Pay for success
  • Early education/Higher education parity
  • Expand the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program
  • Pre-kindergarten scholarship tax credit

By taking into account these recommendations, the action tank says it would help "lose a major gap in our social safety net and empower the next generation to achieve prosperity for themselves and their families to come."

The recommendations come at an opportune time; earlier in the month, NPR education expert Claudio Sanchez predicted that Donald Trump's intentions to dramatically cut back on federal education spending could result in declining pre-K enrollment during his presidency.

"I predict that money for early childhood education is going to shrink, or worse, we could see cuts across the board that will result in a drop in pre-K enrollment in 2017," Sanchez said, citing the likelihood that Trump's administration will not match state early education spending with federal dollars like the Obama administration did.

If Sanchez is right about Trump's de-prioritization of early education, he could be wrong about declining enrollment if the Early Childhood Education Action Tank's recommendations to revise the tax code stick.

The action tank also recommends that in addition to revising the tax code, Congress focuses on producing quality early education options by including the following elements:

  • Support for both educators and young learners, including proper training for teachers and proven curricula tailored to student needs, formative assessments and data-driven decision making
  • Intentional and consistent parent and family engagement
  • An empowering environment, including supportive teachers, parents and local leaders

Early Childhood Education Action Tank notes that by improving access to quality early education, leaders will in turn help fewer children be arrested for violent crimes, avoid becoming a teen parent and graduate high school to attend college. 

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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