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Guest Post: “Mixed Reviews” for Thayn’s Proposal Come from Government-funded Early Ed Proponents

December 22nd, 2008 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

The Idaho Press Tribune did a story on Rep. Steven Thayn’s proposal to strengthen the parent-child relationship and save taxpayer dollars by paying parents who bring their kids to first grade ready to learn.

Thayn’s proposal will reduce by one-half the amount of taxpayer resources currently spent to educate kindergarten children.

The “mixed reviews” cited in the IPT hardly come from an objective source: the objections come from the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, which is devoted to taxpayer funding for daycare and education starting at age zero.

According to their mission statement, “Idaho AEYC supports quality early care and education for all children, from birth through age eight, and promotes excellence in early childhood education wherever children grow and learn (emphasis mine).”

The AEYC’s executive director is quite specific about this. “[T]he most important years for learning development is between birth and three years. So we need to get them involved a lot earlier than kindergarten (emphasis mine).”

The bottom line here is that the AEYC sees parents as little more than breeders, who should, in a perfect world, surrender their children to the state as soon as they are born for care and education.

The AEYC’s objection to Thayn’s proposal rests on what amounts to an insult of many Idaho parents. “We totally believe that kids learning at home with parents is a good thing, but parents don’t always have the information they need to provide the best learning environment for kids (emphasis mine).”

What is becoming evident is that there is an anti-parent, anti-family bias present in most objections to Thayn’s plan. It would be one thing if taxpayer-funded early education proved clearly superior to what parents at home do, but not only do early education benefits virtually disappear by the end of third grade, Stanford and Berkeley researchers reported that the more time pre-K kids spend in daycare settings, the more stunted their emotional development is, and the more behavioral problems they display in elementary school.

The idea of parents breeding children and then turning them over to the state to raise is hardly original – in fact, it was central to Plato’s Republic. But it was a bad idea then and it’s a bad idea now, not to mention a horribly expensive and ineffective one.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Education, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature | No Comments »

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