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Letter to Senator Boxer supporting the Early Education Act of 2007

February 02, 2007

Dear Senator Boxer:


On behalf of the National Education Association's 3.2 million members, we are writing to offer our support for the Early Education Act of 2007 (S. 152). We thank you for your leadership in offering this legislation, which would help states build capacity for early education programs.

As you know, NEA has a strong history of promoting early education programs, as it is clear that high quality education before a child turns five yields significant long-term benefits. Research shows that children who participate in quality early education programs perform better academically and exhibit better cognitive and social skills—on both a short-term and long-term basis—than similar children who do not participate in such programs.

As such, we are pleased that your bill would provide grants to state educational agencies for programs located in public schools or in places that contract with local educational agencies (LEAs). We are also pleased that the bill would make programs available to all children in the LEAs and would ensure that quality educators are providing instruction. We would encourage you to consider including a priority in awarding the grants to applicants that require bachelor's degrees for their early education teachers.

We thank you again for your leadership on these important issues. We look forward to working with you to garner support for early education programs as Congress begins the process of reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act. If you need any assistance, please contact Shilpa Reddy in NEA Government Relations at 202-822-7331 or sreddy@nea.org.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Policy and Politics