Obama reboots call for universal pre-K

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 28, 2014 at the Capitol in Washington.

The President led the address with an unnamed teacher, touting the highest graduation rate in more than three decades, but delivered few new education initiatives in the address. He called for an "across-the-board reform" of job training programs, to be led by Vice President Joe Biden. He repeated last year’s proposal for universal access to pre-Kindergarten for the country’s four-year-olds, plugging a new "Race to the Top" competition for early education.

"As Congress decides what it’s going to do," he pledged to work with a coalition of elected officials, business leaders and philanthropists to increase access to high-quality pre-K. 

The president also announced a partnership with companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon to connect more than 15,000 schools to high-speed broadband. There were nods to recent efforts to make college more affordable, like the income-based repayment plan that caps student loan payments at 10 percent of income and better information for parents about college costs.

But overall, no dramatic new proposals.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.
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