Prop 82, Preschool, Money and Society

One day last week I received my California Primary Election booklet for the election on June 6. I knew that one of the propositions was on Universal Preschool but I didn’t really do much contemplation on the subject (I am against it, big shock). I started getting all kinds of emails from a yahoogroup on homeschooling in California about stopping this and I filed the material to read later. Then the straw that broke the camel’s back, I was reading one of my new found favorite blogs, Spunky HomeSchool, and she was doing an article on Outsourcing Bedtime. She had a quote from the Telegraph:

Four in 10 parents want schools to set bedtimes for their children because they cannot do it themselves,

That caught my attention and I went a read the article and it is true. I admit I had my doubts because you can always get a crazy quote out of the Telegraph. This quote from the article (and the true jist) made Prop 82 fall in view.

Mick Brookes, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “It’s quite bizarre, but on the other hand it could be a cry for help and when schools and parents work together it can be a very effective way of enforcing discipline.”

I have now read the entire analysis provided in the booklet and frankly, their own material condems it. In the background information they tell you that:

Survey data suggest that 62 percent of the state’s 4-year olds attend some kind of center-based program prior to attending kindergarten.

Let us skip ahead to the goal, also found in the booklet:

Based on information from other states that offer public preschool for all 4-year olds, our best estimate is that—over time—roughly 70 percent of 4-year olds would participate in the new preschool program.

This means in money, to acquire an additional 8% of the 4 year old population it will cost $109,000 per new student (according to Lisa Snell). Now that is not per kid but per NEW participant in a preschool program. I understand that a big reason for this push is for lower income families, but these resources already exist (and are already funded). Here is a logic question, if they are not willing to exert the engery to take advantage of free preschool(like Head Start), why would they do it if Prop 82 passes?
Let’s move on to the real problem, the wresting of our children from us. Granted that this is a voluntary program not mandatory. I believe that this is the state’s biggest problem (taken from the Voter info booklet):

Children not in center-based care are tended by parents or relatives, or served by other arrangements (including babysitters, nannies, and family child care providers).

The proponents of this program say this way more kids will be reading by 3rd grade. Shouldn’t we focus on k-3rd then? Is this really because they want to be indoctirnating their PC values and not ours? Maybe we as parents should make our children’s education a priority in our own lives but (according to Spunky):

We heard alot about outsourcing jobs in the last election. Everybody was worried about the number of jobs moving overseas. Yet, a bigger problem is brewing right here in the US. We are outsourcing parenthood. Parents are knowingly giving the job of raising their children over to another.

We know that parental involvement in education and specifically reading is essential. Here are some quotes from a report from the National Literacy Trust.

• Early reading experiences with their parents prepare children for the benefits of formal literacy instruction. Indeed, parental involvement in their child’s reading has been found to be the most important determinant of language and emergent literacy (Bus, van Ijzendoorn & Pellegrini, 1995). Furthermore, parents who introduce their babies to books give them a head start in school and an advantage over their peers throughout primary school (Wade & Moore, 2000).

• Although parental involvement has the greatest effect in the early years, its importance to children’s educational and literacy outcomes continues into the teenage and even adult years (Desforges & Abouchaar, 2003). For example, Feinstein and Symons (1999) found that parental interest in their child’s education was the single most powerful predictor of achievement at age 16.

Maybe we should vote No on 82 and we should all look at educating our own kids both in academics and in life.

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