During the State of the Union, President Obama made note of important improvements at the start of his address, “Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years.”
Quickly following the noted improvements, the President discussed setting the stage for his new agenda which highlighted the introduction of new childcare and higher education initiatives.
Obama’s agenda included making childcare affordable and high-quality for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America and plans on achieving this by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year. He strongly worded childcare as a must have and stated, “it’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.” CEC will work with the administration to ensure children with disabilities have access to high quality child care that meets their needs and those of their family.
Higher Education was next on the agenda. He touched on the reality that in this day and age there are far too many young Americans who are being priced out of the education they need to develop a strong future. Obama plans to remedy this by sending a plan to Congress that will lower the cost of community college to zero. “Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt. Understand, you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to keep your grades up and graduate on time.” How do we ensure youth with disabilities have access to this initiative and receive all the supports and services they need to be successful? CEC will bring to the table solutions to include youth with disabilities in community colleges. By eliminating the costs of community college, Obama is hopeful that debt will no longer be a burdening issue on those students wishing to achieve a higher education and they will become economically self sufficient.
President Obama expressed his passion through the following words, “I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood: your life matters; and we are committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids.”
CEC stands ready to support the administration to realize these new initiatives for ALL children and youth and their families.
To read the full transcript, click here.
To watch the address, click here.