Edwards unveiled his education plan Friday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Speaking with reporters after outlining his plan for education reform, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said his proposal would cost an estimated $7 billion the first year and would "escalate over time."
The Democratic presidential candidate said the funding would come from taxes that are not currently being collected, particularly capital gains taxes because "brokerage houses are not reporting capital gains."
A significant portion of Edwards' education plan includes provisions to overhaul "No Child Left Behind," but when asked why he is criticizing NCLB now after having voted for it back in 2001 as a sitting senator, Edwards told CNN said that NCLB was a good concept, but that President Bush has "failed to fund it." He also questioned the effectiveness of the law's testing requirements.
"My nine year old Emma Claire finished third grade in public school this past year," he said. "She spent half a year preparing for the integrated test ... She had a terrific teacher, but it was clearly intrusive into the learning process."
In addition to NCLB reform, Edwards is also calling for universal preschool for four-year-olds, increasing teacher pay, and creating a national teacher university.
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch