Cobb, Executive Director
December 12, 2006
General Assembly Alert #1: Stopping Kaine's Pre-School
In just a few weeks, the Virginia General
Assembly will meet for the 2007 session. Beginning January 10,
the session is scheduled to run 46 days. The Family Foundation
is currently working with legislators developing our
legislative agenda and strategy for the session.
of the major issues we will battle against this year is
Governor Tim Kaine's proposed scheme to develop a state
government controlled day care system in Virginia. Called "Universal Day
Care" or "Pre-K," the creation of such a program is one of the
Governor's highest priorities.
Kaine has already signed Executive Order #7, asking the state
school board to survey and accumulate information on state and
federally funded pre-school programs (why we need to spend
money on another study is unknown; there are plenty of studies
out there on "Head Start" and other programs. Perhaps the Governor
doesn't like what those studies say and wants one that he can
the Governor announced proposed budget amendments that would
spend millions on "pilot Pre-K" programs. He claims his "Pre-K"
program will be a "voluntary" state funded
make no mistake - that's not all the Governor and his allies
with the National Education Association (NEA) and its Virginia
affiliate, the VEA, want. Their goal is the
state forced education of 2, 3 and 4 year old children. For several years the
NEA has had as one of its primary goals a compulsory universal
day care program.
elites believe that a government worker can raise your
children better than you can. At the present time,
the only time parents have "school choice" is prior to
After that, it's up to the government where your
children go to school unless you have the financial
wherewithal to choose an alternative. The best possible way
to raise our children is to have that child in a loving home
with their parents.
No one else can provide the love and support that
pre-school children need more than mom and dad. The last thing we need
to do in Virginia is to send our children to public schools
for yet another year, or more, especially at those tender
of universal day care claim that children - low, middle or
higher income - will do better in their academic careers if
they have at least a year of "preschool." According to studies
by the Pacific Research Institute, RAND Corporation and
several others, however, children who attend preschool
programs have yet to demonstrate any improvement in education
outcomes over the long term. Any positive effects
diminish by 4th grade.
only is such a program ineffective, but it is likely to cost
hundreds of millions of dollars more than the Governor
guess how he plans to pay for that increase in spending? He wants you to pay
for the new facilities, teachers and support staff to bring
these new grades into the public school system. That will cost
billions of dollars and will mean a huge tax increase for
programs are another example of failed ideas that politicians
continue to fund.
The Family Foundation will work hard with our
legislators to ensure that this risky scheme is dead on
arrival at the General Assembly.
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