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Preschool for all

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:48 pm
by cmslagle
I am opposed to the Preschool-For-All
Initiative that will be on the June 2006 ballot in California.

The San Jose Mercury News is now conducting an online poll to test
the popularity of the Preschool-for-All initiative (aka Proposition
82). While the "No's" are currently ahead 68% to 32% (woo-hoo!) --
the opposition just sent out an action alert asking proponents to
vote "yes" in the poll and they are closing the gap fast in favor of
institutionalizing preschoolers.

I'm asking all of you who do not support government preschool-for-
all to take a second to click on the following link and vote NO:

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:48 pm
by Tabz
Why exactly are you opposed to this?

"Preschool for All, which goes before voters June 6, would provide a free, voluntary year of preschool to all 4-year-olds in the state. "

Who do you think will pay for Preschool for All?

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:43 am
by Theodore
Anything that lowers minimum school age is bad, voluntary or not, since the next step after lowering will be to make it mandatory. Also, who do you think is going to be paying for all this? It comes out of the Calfornia state budget, which is already on its last legs even with Schwarzenegger on the job, since the Democrats managed to shoot down all his budget cuts. Either the state will go bankrupt or the taxpayer will have to foot the bill in the form of higher taxes, and all for a program that's pretty much state-funded babysitting.

On the surface it looks like a good idea, but when you go into more depth, I hope you'll realize it's not, especially not for homeschoolers.

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:11 pm
by Tabz
I guess I'm in two minds. Taxes are of course always annoying - I owe this year for the first time. But I know there's a lot of parents out there who can't DO homeschooling and who spend a lot of money to give their children a preschool education. I believe learning should start as early as possible and this program would provide that for people who can't afford it.

I doubt it'll harm any homeschooling. Since California on a whole has been pretty supportive of homeschooling (at least they were for me, I grew up in California).

I think I'd rather suffer a bit if it helps out even just one family.

Who do you think will pay for Preschool for All? ...

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:31 pm
by Theodore
Preschool is really the easiest part of homeschooling, since it's just reading to your child, covering letters and numbers, and doing lots of creative activities (like the classic fingerpainting, or cutting out shapes and gluing them to cardboard, or so on). Nothing complicated, and an hour a day or less is fine. I fail to see how anyone can't manage that much. No, what Preschool For All really amounts to is daycare, and I don't know about you, but I very much object to publicly funded daycare programs.

Also, just because something is worthwhile from an absolute standpoint, that doesn't mean there isn't something better. Given limited resources (and California is very limited), adding funding to one program means taking it away from another. Where do you want to cut the money from so it can be spent on Preschool For All? If there's that much spare money, why isn't it being spent to develop much-needed infrastructure like more power plants? Basically, to make a successful case for Preschool For All, you have to show that:

(a) The program(s) taking cuts in funding are less needed
(b) There is no program requiring funds that is more needed

There are hundreds or thousands of social programs that will be beneficial to someone, but the taxpayer can't afford to fund them all. You have to choose the best way to spend your money, not just good ways.

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:15 pm
by SophiesMom
I have to agree with Tabz. Those who can and want to homeschool their children, should take the time to read, do letters and numbers, and art projects with them, but thats not the case for everyone. My mother was a single parent who worked 2+ jobs to put food on the table and clothes on the backs of me and my siblings. It wasn't a choice for her; she had to leave my father because he was very abusive to her and us. Growing up, I had problems in school because I was gifted and my older brother had learning disablilities, so he had problems as well. When I mentioned about homeschooling my daughter, my mother brought up her regrets over not being able to spend more one-on-one time with me and my siblings. I do not hold any hard feelings toward her because of that, I understand her situation and why she was always working. At the same time, I have great respect for families of all sorts who are unable to homeschool or are forced to put their children in daycare, like I was. Daycare has become a "nasty" word in our modern society and that pains me. Yes, a child is best nutured at home, but the best case scenario is not always the scenario that is going to happen. If California is going help out working families a little bit and offer government funded daycare and throw in a little learning, then good for them and maybe we should applaude the families who are smart enough to take advantage of that, instead of looking down on them because they can't do the absolute best.

Where is the money going to come from?

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:41 pm
by Theodore
Again, that's a nice sentiment, but where is the money going to come from? What existing programs are worth less, and is there no way to put the money to better use? I don't object to daycare per se, just having the government fund it when there are more important things that need the money. Can you make a case for Preschool For All?

Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:23 pm
by Tabz
Why must I prove that it's the best way to spend government money when government money already goes to so many ways I don't believe in? Opposing something that is good for the state is like saying I'm not going to buy new shoes because it's not the best use of my money. Well, maybe not, but it's a good idea when my shoes look shabby because it looks better for work.

Teaching preschoolers is one of the most important things on this planet in my mind. Preschoolers are at the ripest form to start learning. Their brains can handle and assimilate a lot of learning. What you may see as "easy" doesn't happen in a lot of homes. Especially two-parent-two-income-families. When I was three I had mastered most basic reading and some writing. If you lose them then, it makes it very hard to teach them later. This is one area where government can succeed rather than fail. It's not like governments are going to run their own preschool centers.

California is a good choice because if California does it more states will follow through. I grew up in Los Angeles, I saw more than enough kids who needed some form of "babysitting" in a creative learning enviroment. I'm sorry you fail to see how anyone can't manage that much - but when you've got two parents working 12+ hour days because they have to, to survive and feed and clothe their children in the middle of the city. Then you might understand.

What exactly do you think is a better use of the money than to start a kid off on the right path?

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:19 am
by Theodore
Well then, you shouldn't have a problem naming several programs you wouldn't mind taking money out of, but what about programs that need the money more? In the case of California, building and running more power plants is probably the most important thing right now, since unreliable electricity hamstrings everything else. Once sufficient infrastructure is in place, then you can start to worry about preschool.

Also, if you look at the article: ... 045869.htm

You'll see that the proposal is to tax the rich to fund preschool programs for the working and middle class. Not only does this tend to discourage people from becoming rich (thus inhibiting business in general), but the program is not targeted specifically to those who need a state-funded preschool program, nor do parents get to choose which preschool to go to. If the proposal were changed so it was targeted just to those families that can't afford preschool, and if it were run through school vouchers rather than being directly controlled by the vastly inefficient public school system, and if it taxed everyone equally (it would already be selective about who gets the money), I could support it. But I don't see that happening.

I apologize if I'm hurting anyone's feelings here...

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:04 am
by Theodore
By the way, I apologize if I'm hurting anyone's feelings here. As a board moderator, I probably shouldn't be encouraging heated debate. This will be my last post in this thread.

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:18 am
by Tiarali
I live in Australia, so our system is very different here. Next year they are introducing a new full-time prep year in Queensland. My daughter would be 4 and eligible to attend. While the program is non-compulsory, the advertising campaign is blatantly persuasive. Basically, a parent who keeps their child from prep is warned that their child will be academically disadvantaged, and that it is their fault for allowing that to happen. We already had a before-school state-funded program, called preschool. This was only a part-time program, to allow children to still spend half the day at home.

Now parents are paying to put their children into a part-time kindy the year before they go to prep, just to give children a chance to get used to not being at home all day before they are enrolled in full-time schooling. We tried this, and our daughter doesn't like being away from home at all (although she does like the kindy activities). We will be keeping her home next term.

In effect, the new prep program really lowered many children's school attendance age to 3, not 4, since parents feel they have to prepare their children for prep. I do not like the changes.

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:21 pm
by Tabz
My feelings were not hurt :) I do enjoy a healthy debate and you've given me some things to think about.

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:47 am
by SophiesMom
My feelings were not hurt either, although I am a bit upset by something. I know that education is important, I don't want anyone to think I don't, but I am a little worried about the way parents rush their children these days. When I was younger, which wasn't that long ago by the way, childhood was something to enjoy. It seems to me that a lot of parents and public school systems are forcing children to start performing great intellectual feats earlier and earlier. I'm all for allowing a child to move at their own pace, especially if it's a precocious little thing who is ahead of his/her age group, but the way we're making little boys and girls learn in becoming disturbing. I don't see how any 5 year old is able to sit still for 6 hours and do schoolwork, which is how kindergarten now functions in most states in America. Although I am for something similar to the preschool for all bill, I don't think forcing 3 or 4 year olds to sit in any sort of classroom for more than an hour or two is going to be an asset in anywhich way or another. I'm also a little disturbed by Tiarali's post. If Australia made it "optional" for four year olds to attend a preschool-like situation, why do most parents feel it necessary to send their 3 year olds to a prep course? Is our competitive streaks so strong that they now include parading our babies around as the "smartest" or "the gifted child" at a mere three?! I just don't understand parents today.... funny considering I am one, right?

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:09 pm
by Tiarali
^ I agree. I did put my 3 year old in a kindy. It only functioned three mornings a week, and I thought that it would help her get used to being away from home so that she wouldn't be devastated when she had to go to prep. She wasn't there for academic preparation, but for emotional preparation. She loves kindy, but misses her family too much - we can now tell her she isn't going anymore next term, and she's not upset by that at all. (Here school starts in January).

The kindy incident is actually one of the reasons I started finding out about homeschooling in the first place. I don't WANT her to get used to being away from family for so long at such a young age. But everyone else originally told me that my feelings were normal - like I was just being clingy and holding her back by wanting her to stay home. Mums would say that they cried on the first day of school, but it's important to wean kids off of home, so they just do it. I now think they're being forced to do something by the majority of the population that isn't good for their children at all, but because the mainstream all does it, they think it's normal.

I also think that mums are being pressured to enter the workplace fulltime, whether they want to or not. I mean, yes, some mums want to - but I've read statistics that say that many mothers in the workplace want to either get out, or cut their hours, just to spend more time with their kids. Every time I see something about lowering children's age to enter schooling, I wonder how much of it is for the kids to be in an educational institution, and how much of it is to pressure women that they now have no excuse to stay home. Make sense?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:41 pm
by ATL Mom
My son was in preschool here in GA. They did much more than just read to him and talk about letters and numbers. (Our preschool program is theoreticly funded by the lottery here in GA.)

In his preschool class he learned how to write his letters and his own name. He also learned colors and basic shapes. He learned about different animals and the sounds they make and the homes they live in.

Granted, we were doing things with him at home. However, the preschool program was far from a babysitting service. My son also learned how to interact with other kids his own age in a constructive way so he was prepared for the more formal arena of Kindergarten. Kindergarten was what wasted his time the most because so many kids were in his class that had not attended preschool and had no basic skills. He was terribly bored by the curriculum in Kindergarten because he had already learned his colors, numbers, letters, shapes, writing his name, and coloring in the lines.

My daughter will be homeschooled from the beginning so preschool will not be something she is ever enrolled in.

When a state opts to fund education programs that will help those children who are not fortunate enough to have involved parents, the state is hoping to reduce the need for those other social service programs in the future generation. Better education will hopefully lower the need for those children to use welfare programs when they are grown.

If the state is allowing the public to vote on the subject, then the decision will be made my the general population. I didn't read to see how the vote is going to be administered for this topic, so I'm not real sure on that one.