Tuesday’s State of the Union

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday President Biden highlighted America’s resilience and determination by pointing to the progress made during the last Congress.

In the last two years, we made the biggest investment to fight climate change in history, we invested billions to rebuild and repair our infrastructure, capped the cost of insulin for seniors on Medicare at $35 a month, tightened gun laws, delivered on our promises to veterans, expanded rural broadband and reinvigorated American manufacturing.

But millions of Americans still face hardship and still feel like they’ve been left behind.

As the Chairman of the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, I spoke with countless Americans who shared their experiences of struggle, hardship, and a serious need for more support for their children. We also heard testimony from expert witnesses that the first five years of a child’s life are the most consequential for enabling success in school and adulthood. 

The committee’s report, as well as numerous studies, show that by investing in early childhood education, we can foster opportunity, growth, and potential not just on an individual level, but on a broader economic level, too.

I brought a special guest to the State of the Union, Marc Jaffe, CEO of the Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County.

Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County is a model organization with a simple, powerful mission: provide early childhood education and health and support services for kids. They’re committed to empowering families to be their own advocates in the face of any obstacle.

Organizations like CLC are a model for what is possible when we invest in education for every child in America, and when we ensure our kids get a good education, we reduce overall healthcare costs, increase on-time graduation from secondary schools, decrease student debt, reduce recidivism, and more.

Let me be clear: Early childhood education is one of the smartest investments we can make. Full stop.

Together, we can increase and expand opportunity in every community and lay the foundation for a successful future, providing our kids with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to succeed.

—    Jim

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