Greater investment in children and families -- the subject of an upcoming March 5 Washington Post Live summit -- was a significant part of President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address last night. Here are excerpts:
“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on, by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children -- like Georgia or Oklahoma -- studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.”
“This year, my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. And we’ll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety and education and housing. We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low- income couples and do more to encourage fatherhood, because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child, it’s having the courage to raise one. And we want to encourage that. We want to help that. Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this kind of prosperity -- broad, shared, built on a thriving middle class -- that has always been the source of our progress at home.”
Washington Post Live will be discussing strategic investment in children and better support systems for families with Arne Duncan, Jared Bernstein, Ali Wentworth, John Engler, and others on March 5. Click here to register.