Julián Castro Makes Pre-K a Central Theme of His Presidential Campaign
Here is the video of Julián Castro announcing he is running for President followed by discussion and analysis related to his support of Pre-K
At the 10:05 mark into his campaign speech above, Castro talks about how as Mayor of San Antonio he pushed for and got a sales tax to fund universal access to Pre-K after working with educators, parents, and business leaders to build support. He then talked about his Pre-K for S.A. program which was the central accomplishment of his mayoral term:
Castro then shared an anecdote of when he visited the opening of an early education center as part of the Pre-K for S.A. Initiative. He ends that portion of his speech with the line, “as Mayor or San Antonio, I made Pre-K for S.A. happen and as President I’ll make Pre-K for the USA happen”
Here is a video from a few years back of Castro talking about the importance of Pre-K when he was working on promoting the Pre-K for S.A. initiative:
While the program is still relatively new, so far there has been positive feedback and research into the Pre-K for S.A. program.
An independent research report found “Finally, Pre-K 4 SA children’s kindergarten readiness outcomes (measured by the Teaching Strategies’ GOLD) were compared to a nationally representative sample of children for six outcomes: cognitive, literacy, mathematics, oral language, physical, and social-emotional. Results indicated that although Pre-K 4 SA children started the school year significantly below the normed Pre-K 4 SA Evaluation Report: Year 4 sample on five of the six outcomes, they surpassed the normed sample in three outcomes (cognitive, literacy, and mathematics) by the end of the year, and eliminated the initial gap in oral language, physical, and social-emotional.”
While many presidential contenders have talked about Pre-K, Castro is the first candidate to make it a central tenant of his campaign. It will be interesting to see if others follow his lead.