Biden to Propose $200 Billion Program to Make Pre-School Free

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President Joe Biden will unveil a $200 billion program to provide free preschool as part of the American Families Plan proposal he’ll discuss Wednesday night during his prime-time address to Congress.

The plan would benefit approximately 5 million 3- and 4-year old children and could save the average family $13,000 if the program were fully implemented, according to a preview document shared by an administration official.

The program is one element of a sweeping proposal Biden is to announce in the speech to both houses of Congress, which is expected to include elements like paid family leave and tuition-free community college.

The cost of the president’s proposals would be offset by higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, including raising capital gains taxes on those making over $1 million per year.

The Associated Press reported details of Biden’s preschool proposal earlier Tuesday.

His plan would require that pre-kindergarten teachers earn at least $15 per hour, and the administration’s planning document says those with comparable qualifications to kindergarten teachers would receive commensurate pay. The proposal would also require pre-K classes maintain low student-teacher ratios and developmentally appropriate curriculum.

White House economic adviser Brian Deese on Monday defended the administration’s decision to seek tax increases as part of the program, saying the changes “would help invest directly in our kids and our families and our future economic competitiveness.”

The programs will “put us in a position where we can drive greater economic growth,” Deese added.

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