President Barack Obama’s visit to a Georgia preschool to unveil his plan for universal pre-K is not without a few snags — namely, the students themselves.
Obama is set to visit a pre-K classroom at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga. shortly after noon Thursday, but that’s apparently proven to be a challenge, given that the school system is currently on winter break, a school staff member confirmed to TheBlaze.
The staff member refused to comment on how Obama’s visit was being handled with the students technically off, but Atlanta’s WSB radio reported that “teachers and administrators have been scrambling to get parents to bring their 4-year-olds back to school so the president will not have to tour empty classrooms.”
“It was quite a good response,” Decatur Schools legislative liaison Courtney Burnett told WSB of how parents reacted. “It’s about 75 percent per classroom.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze about why the school was chosen if it was on break or who made the request to bring students back.
Obama called for expanding preschool programs during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America,” Obama said Tuesday. “In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.”
Update: The White House press pool reported that Obama visited with a classroom of 16 children ages 4 and 5. Among the greetings the kids called out were “Are you our teacher?”, “Welcome, Mr. President” and “I saw you on TV.”
Obama sat down to play at a couple different tables, including one where he picked up a magnifying glass.
“This is sort of like ‘I Spy.’ I remember ‘I Spy,'” Obama said.
The report noted that the school had been closed for break but was reopened for Obama’s visit.