Fair share politics and universal preschool

Fair share politics and universal preschool

A national non-profit organization which promotes “progressive values” plans to deliver 1,000 petition signatures today to U.S. Rep. Ami Bera’s district office today in Rancho Cordova, calling for Congress to pass the “Start Strong for America’s Children Act.”

California Fair Share is calling for expanded spending on early childhood education and mandatory preschool.

This “nonpartisan” group claims to be pushing progressive values on its IRS I-9 form. And when doing a Google search of “Start Strong for America’s Children Act,” the first selection is the U.S. Democrat’s Committee on Education and the Workforce, led by U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-CA.

“We believe that everyone deserves a fair shot in life, and that starts with a quality education,” California Fair Share says on its website. “Unfortunately, some in Congress are moving to cut billions from education. Congress already made deep cuts in early 2013 that will slash programs for 1.2 million kids and take 30,000 teachers out of classrooms.”

President Obama proposed significantly increasing federal spending on early childhood education and care as part of his drive for a “cradle-to-career” government-controlled education system, in February 2013.


“Expanding federal intervention in education to include infants, toddlers, and three-year-olds and four-year olds will crowd out private preschools, increase costs for taxpayers, and fail to create lasting academic benefits for children,” the Heritage Foundation said in response.

Welcome to more government expansion, brought to you by “nonpartisan” FairShare.org, “researching and organizing around critical issues such as economic fairness, health care, global security and education reform.”

California’s universal preschool

California already passed a cradle-to-career Resolution, ACR 45 by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, in support of President Obama’s proposal.

In May during an Assembly session which I attended, Weber, a retired African-American Studies professor, said the purpose of ACR 45 was to boost early childhood education funding in order to get children into day care and educational programs even before preschool.

Neglecting such development “could prove very harmful to the future of these children, especially African-American males,” the Assembly Black Caucus noted. The Assembly Black Caucus is also made up of all Democrats.

“Head Start, the flagship pre-kindergarten program introduced in 1965, has been a $166 billion failure,” according to Andrew Coulsen, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom.

“But by the end of the first grade, even those few effects have disappeared, according to the follow-up released this month,” Coulsen said. “Out of 44 separate cognitive tests given to former Head Start students at the end of the first grade, only two showed even marginally significant effects. The other 42 showed no statistically significant effect at all.”

Coulsen also cited multiple studies finding that, while Head Start had some initial positive effects, most of those were not sustained into elementary school.

Weber’s justification for ACR 45 was interesting:

“A child who attends quality early care and education programs is less likely to be arrested and more likely to earn higher incomes than a child who does not, and the opportunity to participate in such programs prepares children to attain a higher standard of living as adults and to become members of the high-skilled workforce that is critical to our nation’s economic future.

“If we are only looking at preschool beginning at age 2-1/2 to three, we are missing a significant part of time when we should be stimulating the child.” 

Weber also explained of parenting classes, “Of all the things we are licensed to do, drive a car, own a business, we basically give birth to children with no training or background or assistance. That is why parenting classes are important.”

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