US education secretary to visit Ga., discuss pre-K

Georgia Education
Posted at 6:37 AM, May 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-31 02:51:05-04

ATLANTA (AP) - U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is traveling to Atlanta to highlight President Barack Obama's effort to expand access to early learning programs nationally.

Duncan will be visiting an Atlanta elementary school Friday and participating in a town hall meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Georgia has been considered a leader in providing access to pre-kindergarten programs, which are funded by state lottery revenues. Last school year, total funding for the program reached $300 million, serving nearly 83,000 children. That represents nearly 58 percent of the state's 4-year-olds.

Obama came to Decatur earlier this year to discuss the importance of early learning. His plan calls for spending $75 billion over 10 years with the help of higher cigarette taxes to partner with states to establish pre-kindergarten programs.