Senate HELP committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and fellow senators introduced early childhood education legislation on November 13 entitled the “Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2013” (H.R. 3641). House Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking Member George Miller (D-11th-CA) introduced similar legislation in the House.
The act establishes a new federal-state partnership supporting four-year old preschool and includes “creative arts expression” as an essential domain of school readiness. It requires state applications for funding to include information about how the state will “coordinate with community based learning resources, such as libraries, arts and arts education programs…” This act draws on the framework for early childhood education that President Obama described in his 2013 State of the Union address.