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Pre-K Programs (Not) Curtailed By Recession

From an outraged Associated Press:

Expansion in pre-K programs curtailed in recession

By KIMBERLY HEFLING
January 17, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The expansion in public prekindergarten programs has slowed and even been reversed in some states as school districts cope with shrinking budgets. As a result, many 3- and 4-year-olds aren’t going to preschool.

We will later learn that only two states have scaled back on their prekindergarten programs. Arizona, which has cut a block grant that funded prekindergarten "for a small percentage of kids," even though "a separate public fund still supports some programs." And Georgia, which has shaved "20 days off the prekindergarten school year."

We will also learn that these state funded pre-k programs have actually more than doubled in the last ten years. And that is not counting Head Start, which is a federal program.

Kids from low-income families who start kindergarten without first attending a quality education program enter school an estimated 18 months behind their peers. Many never catch up, and research shows they are more likely to need special education services and to drop out. Kids in families with higher incomes also can benefit from early education, research shows.

A) we thought the recession ended in July 2009, more than three and a half years ago. B) we thought that the various Obama stimuli poured untold billions of dollars into education.

And, C) we thought it has long been been found that preschool programs, such as Head Start, end up giving little or no advantage to children once they get past the second grade.

Yet, roughly a quarter of the nation’s 4-year-olds and more than half of 3-year-olds attend no preschool, either public or private.

Gosh, that is terrible! Somehow our country survived for many years without any preschool programs whatsoever. Some might even argue that we even produced better educated students without these preschool programs.

Families who earn about $40,000 to $50,000 annually face the greatest difficulties because they make too much to quality for many publicly funded programs, but can’t afford private ones, said Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.

So we need to expand the program to include people making over $50,000 a year.

And as more students qualify for free or reduced lunch — often a qualifier to get into a state-funded prekindergarten program — many families are finding that slots simply aren’t available, he said.

So we need to expand the free lunch programs, too.

In Arizona, a block grant that funded prekindergarten for a small percentage of kids was cut altogether, although a separate public fund still supports some programs. In Georgia, a drop in state lottery dollars meant shaving 20 days off the prekindergarten school year. Proposed cuts in such programs have led to litigation in North Carolina and legislative battles in places like Iowa

So two states have cut back on their preschool programs a little. How horrible.

By the way, whatever happened to the money from state lotteries that was supposed to go to education?

Barnett’s institute has estimated it would cost about $70 billion annually to provide full-day prekindergarten to every 3- and 4-year old in America, including before- and after-care services

Just another $70 billion a year? Is that all? Then what are waiting for?

For the record, we now spend more than $7 billion to provide Head Start to nearly 1 million children each year. And, once again, there is no evidence whatsoever that it has done any good. And Head Start has been in business for 45 years now.

And, once again understand, the programs this article is discussing are state programs that are in addition to the federally funded Head Start:

About 40 states fund prekindergarten programs, typically either in public schools or via funds paid to private grantees, for at least some children. That’s in addition to the federal Head Start program, which is designed to serve extremely poor children and offers a broader range of social services

Over the past decade, state dollars for prekindergarten more than doubled nationally to $5.1 billion, while at the same time access increased from a little more than 700,000 children to more than 1 million, according to Pre-K Now

Nine states were awarded a collective $500 million in grants last month to improve access to and the quality of early childhood programs for kids from birth to age 5

So the state dollars for these programs have doubled in the last ten years. And they just got another half billion last month. And still they are complaining. No matter how much is poured down these holes it is never enough.

But it is for the children, you see.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Pre-K Programs (Not) Curtailed By Recession”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    I didn’t go to pre-school and I have a Ph.D. My brother did not go to pre-school and he holds multiple Ph.Ds.

    Pre-school programs in the United States funded by government are exactly what Jesuit priests meant when they said give me a child for the first six years and the Church will own him for life.”

  2. untrainable says:

    Can someone please explain to me how a child who attends pre-k for 9 months (plus or minus 20 days here or there) gets an 18 month advantage that a child who didn’t attend will never recover from? And the word advantage in this context means nothing. An advantage in what? Certainly not math or reading or science… must be an advantage in their ability to be programmed.

    These pre-k educated kids are just easier to influence because they’ll never remember NOT being under the brooding care of the government teachers. All hail Obama! Mmm. Mmmm. Mmmmm.

    We’re breeding another generation of mindless thoughtless husks who will believe that government is their mamma, and they’ll know that mamma always gives them what they want. They’re helping those children unlearn how to be free. And doing it at an early enough age makes it just that much easier to reinforce that programming later on. Like during third period “Occupy Wall Street 101” or “How to be an obnoxious putz and make union money doing it.”

    Think I’m paranoid?… All hail Obama! Mmm. Mmmm. Mmmmm.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The elephant in the room: And certainly not black/hispanic kids. They don’t need any more indoctrination. They are already convinced of their victim-hood. No…the pre-pre K kids will be Asian and white kids who just don’t seem to get it that they are supposed to be needy mindless drones who demand everything from GovCo. The lousy turnout for “occupy” proves that. Those snotty little white kids who’ve been tricked into getting gay-lesbian transgender studies degrees were to o few and the system (as designed) though working, needs more “efficiency”.

    It’s my fervent belief that this will backfire.

  4. proreason says:

    cradle to grave socialism

    get em young so they are completely indoctrinated before they are old enough to think independently


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