FACT CHECK: Joe Biden Falsely Claims ‘Two Years of Universal High-Quality Pre-School’ Helps Young Children
- CLAIM: “We add two years of universal high-quality pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-olds in America. The research shows that when a young child goes to school—not day care—they are far more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college,” President Joe Biden said in his prepared remarks.
- VERDICT: MOSTLY FALSE. A study published in the 2018 Early Childhood Research Quarterly by Mark Lipsey, Dale Farran, and Kelley Durkin found that the evidence does not support Biden’s claim to “add two years of universal high-quality pre-school.”
- The Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K Program (VPK) study was the first type of randomized control trial that examined the claim that state pre-k programs have positive achievement. The report found the opposite of Biden’s claim.
- There were “positive achievement effects” by the end of the pre-k, but the achievements reversed and began favoring the control group of children in second and third grade.