Source: The 74

If the plan reaches fruition, Chicago would join cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston, which are spearheading large-scale pre-K initiatives amid uneven state progress and a growing arsenal of research touting the benefits of early education. While 43 states currently offer some form of state-funded preschool for more than 1.5 million children, only a handful can be accurately described as “universal.” Universal pre-K is free and open to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status.  Bipartisan backing for state-funded pre-K — universal or not — has strengthened in recent years as research has affirmed the cognitive and social benefits of quality early education instruction.