Throwing money at public preschools. Why?

I was asked why I didn’t think American tax dollars should pay for programs such as Head Start and publicly funded preschools.  My first response is:  because free education isn’t a right guaranteed by The Constitution….but thats kind of a moot point in our sophisticated, super-edumacated 21st Century America.

QUESTION:  Since you argue that preschool should NOT be publicly funded, despite it’s clear returns, you must have an idea for a program or programs that have even better returns on the investment of taxpayer dollars. What should be getting the money instead of preschools, in your view?

The Questioner is referring to a frequently cited study called the Perry Preschool Study suggesting the data compiled proves the benefits of a preschool education and repeatedly claimed that each dollar spent results in $17 worth of future savings.  A link. I did note to myself that it was conducted by several well-known and very liberal organizations.

RESPONSE:  First of all, the department of education sucks up about $500 billion a year. We’re not getting much bang for our buck. School performance is dismal (lots of research out there about this decline and changing the way tests are scored, etc) , the percentage of children in public school vs. private, parochial, and homeschool is dropping (from 86% to 81% in last 10 years) and parental confidence in pubic education averages a mere 46% over the past ten years (latter are from a recent Gallup poll).

Secondly, when you put dollar amounts on a child’s educational success or failure, there is no gain. Preschool doesn’t make a difference in the long haul, so what’s the point?

Thirdly, America has a debt problem. I firmly believe, that to get ahead one must pay their debt first and then one can invest. That means money doesn’t go to public preschools.

And besides that….it really pisses me off when ‘welfare mama’ sits at home and she still gets free daycare in the name of “preschool”. Its wrong.


From the conclusion of the 2010 Health & Human Services Study on HeadStart’s Impact (the one Sebelius is barking about):

In sum, this report finds that providing access to Head Start has benefits for both 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds in the cognitive, health, and parenting domains, and for 3-year-olds in the social-emotional domain. However, the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole.

“largely absent” – in other words, statistically insignificant

HHS Study


Here’s another: CATO Summary An older article, but on the money, nonetheless.


Instead of throwing more dollars at this proven failure, President Obama might consider throwing his weight behind proven successes. A federal program that pays private-school tuition for poor DC families, for instance, has been shown to raise students’ reading performance by more than two grade levels after just three years, compared to a control group of students who stayed in public schools. And it does so at about a quarter the cost to taxpayers of DC’s public schools. A Tragic Waste of Money

Its my understanding that O and friends want to throw nearly $10Billion into Head Start/Public Preschool. In the spirit of redistributing wealth….it probably wouldn’t be difficult to find about 2 million preschool kids and give their parents $5000 to pay for a private preschool education. Just think of the savings on overhead and administrative cost…the full $10 Billion would actually make it into the pockets of those it was intended.

My humble thoughts on some changes: Axe the Department of Education, squash the NEA, get back to reading, writing, and arithmetic, school vouchers, and tax credits and use this $10 Billion to help clean up from the Obama mess in 2012.

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4 Responses to Throwing money at public preschools. Why?

  1. “My humble thoughts on some changes: Axe the Department of Education, squash the NEA, get back to reading, writing, and arithmetic, school vouchers, and tax credits and use this $10 Billion to help clean up from the Obama mess in 2012.”

    Amen to that! The DoE has not educated one student in its history. This crushing need to handle everything at the Federal level is choking states and local governments of revenue and indebting our children and their children to pay for the mistake.

    I also don’t understand what leads people to believe that children are better off in pre-school or daycare than in the care of their parents.

    –Josh
    http://thepursuitofliberty.wordpress.com/

  2. Elaine says:

    Well said.

    When will Congress and this administration realize that throwing money at failed programs/businesses will not solve the problems. Allowing the citizens to keep more of their money, which they have worked hard for, to spend as they see fit would do this country and economy so much good.

    • Sheri says:

      Thank you, Elaine. I don’t think this administration is out to solve any problems that they have not specifically defined as a problem (such as extremist tea-partiers or clingy Christians). Their goal is to create an all-powerful government. If they heavily tax the productive citizens, promote and protect a multi-generational welfare class, and control the indoctrination, I mean, education, of America’s youth….their goal is all the easier.

  3. bridgetokindergarten says:

    I can tell you one big reason why Head Start is failing; it’s because the teachers and teaching assistants are not educationally qualified. They struggle along in their poorly performing high school, drop out to have babies, then they go back to earn their GED’s. Then they apply for a job with Head Start complete with a “poor me” story. Then the Human Resources Department try to help these women “get back on their feet” so they put on a fast track to get a job. Then they get a job with Head Start, and the school trains them on the job to be a teaching assistant. Then the agency sends them to a community college to earn their AAS in Child Development Technology or Early Childhood Education Technology. If the teaching assistant takes classes toward her degree, then she gets to keep her job. If she earns her AAS in an area directly related to early childhood education, then she’ll be in a good position to be promoted to a Head Start lead teacher. The big problem with this is that the Powers That Be at the community colleges are in cahoots to sell these degrees to the Head Start employees. There are no tests, no mandatory attendance, term papers are not verified for authenticity, and the instructors are only interested in packing out the attendance of their classes. The colleges are happy because the instructors are bringing in students finaced by grant money. The college is only interested in the boat loads of Pell Grant money that all these slacker Head Start employees bring to their institution. (…and we’re wondering why Head Start is failing????)

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