Commentary: What does the evidence say about universal pre-kindergarten?

With the “Build Back Better” legislation stalled in the Senate, President Joe Biden is now considering smaller bills that include important parts of the plan, such as one proposal to spend $110 billion to make pre-kindergarten available to all 3- and 4-year-olds. Helping children to overcome limitations based on their family finances or backgrounds is an appealing idea. Recent evidence, however, raises serious questions about whether more preschool improves kids’ lives over the long term.