Universal Pre-K?

Despite a $6.2 billion budget and out of control spending, the Minnesota DFL in St. Paul is making sure to propose more spending bills and mandates.  DFL Representative Sandra Peterson (45A) is the chief author of House File 365 to which read as follows;


The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to provide for the education of young children through age five and to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure early childhood development and education and a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.


The proposed amendment must be submitted to the people at the 2011 general election. The question submitted must be Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require the state to provide for early childhood education?

Yes ladies and gentlemen, you are not misreading this!  Representative Peterson is proposing to amend the Minnesota Constitution to provide universal education for kids through the age of five!

So let’s see….if you are Sandy Peterson or your typical public school apologist you already think schools don’t have enough, teachers don’t make enough, there aren’t enough programs, blah, blah blah.  So your solution is to add another mandate, another requirement, another burden to put on the taxpayers?  Do parents have any responsibility at all?  The government has to take care of you from cradle to grave?

Of course, the public school apologists will gush about how wonderful this is and how important it is and call themselves pro-education because they want to spend more, and more, and more, and more.  And remember if you don’t favor this then you don’t care about the kids you child hater!!!!!

8 Responses to “Universal Pre-K?”

  1. give2attain Says:

    First, there is apparently no way to enforce that Parents fulfill their responsibilities. Otherwise there would not be a massive achievement gap…

    I attended Teacher Parent conferences at PMS and Armstrong this week, and the halls seemed incredibly quiet. My wife and/or I show up every time if only to have the Teacher’s reaffirm that my kids are like Mary Poppins… (ie practically perfect in every way… Thank God for my wife’s good influence !!!) My point is where are the Parents of the kids that are struggling???

    With this unfortunate reality in mind, and our goal of No Child Left Behind. I whole heartedly agree with Sandra Peterson on this one. The sooner we get the kids started, the sooner we can start closing the gap…

    But if you think of a way to hold Parents accountable for ensuring their children are ready for Kindergarten. And actively supporting them during their school years. We would all be interested in hearing it.

  2. 281 Exposed Says:

    So “ensuring kids are read for kindergarten” is now the taxpayers’s responsibility.

    I don’t understand this; when does the redistribution of wealth stop? Think of what we do for “so-called poor people.” They pay no taxes, get free health care, their kids get a free education, free busing, and of course free and reduced lunch, and as usual it’s never enough.

    All universal pre-K will do is increase people’s dependence on government…and of course it won’t have enough money and it will need more and more and more and then we’ll have to transport the kids and give them free lunches and IB and AP. It will never end.

  3. numbersguy Says:

    A “Constitutional Amendment”? Does Rep. S. Peterson actually believe that the MN Constitution needs to be the place to make early childhood education the business of the taxpayers and citizens of MN?

    Just like the whole education of child is the Responsibility of their parents FIRST, early child education is the parents responsibility first. Can parents that can’t afford private early childhood education be provided this service (like I believe currently is happening)? Yes. How has this been working so far? The achievement gap is smaller right? The RAS Systems Accountability Committee in January 2011 was told that all day kindergarten advantages are gone by Third Grade. The Whole System must be REFORMED, NOT new mandates added.

    And certainly NOT by CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS!!!!!!!

  4. give2attain Says:

    So if you feel society (ie tax payers) should not pay to help the kids with dead beat parents. Remember that the situation is not the child’s fault. And if the problem is not resolved the child is highly likely to cost society more when they are an adult. And then there is the whole it is unfair for the kids argument… (I know some of you are sympathetic softies with regard to those kids and their plight…)

    How would you help them? or
    Are you happy to pay their welfare and prison costs?

    Remember, these are kid’s with Parents that either don’t know how to Parent or don’t care… Since reading books, teaching correct behaviors, teaching fine motor, teaching large motor, teaching counting, etc doesn’t cost too much, poverty is not a good excuse for this negligence that prevents kids from being prepared for Kindergarten. (ie Parent’s fault)

    I do find the traditional Conservative beliefs fascinating. They usually are against abortion, and against paying to help raise the unwanted child once it is born. It is one of those little inconsistent ironies that pushes me to the middle.

  5. 281 Exposed Says:

    “So if you feel society (ie tax payers) should not pay to help the kids with dead beat parents.”

    Didn’t we just list a whole litany of what taxpayers are paying for….poor people pay no taxes, get free health care, their kids get a free education, free busing, and of course free and reduced lunch etc. Of course it’s never enough.

    Remember what Sandy Peterson is proposing…

    A constitutional amendment to provide for public education through the age of five!!!!! This will not make parents responsible, it will simply cause them to cede more to the government. More kids will just become wards of the state. Then again, maybe that’s what liberals like Peterson want.

    And again we have the typical liberal slippery slope argument, that if we don’t create another government entitlement, we’ll just pay more later. Funny all the government does is spend, and spend, and spend and it’s never enough no matter what so we find that argument lacking.

    Being pro-life and favoring limited welfare are not inconsistent. Many conservatives are morally opposed to abortion for religious concerns but there are other reasons. We don’t think abortion is a “right” like freedom of speech;, that is judicial nonsense. We also take issue with the courts deciding this issue not the legislators and with paying for abortions…..hello planned parenthood.

    Welfare is a different animal altogether. We favor a social safety net NOT a dependency class or a system where half the people pay nothing and half the people sit there with their hands out. We also think that charities, non-profits, and churches can assist with poverty and do a better job with less money that the government ever would do.

    The two issues have nothing to do with each other at all.

  6. give2attain Says:

    I have been reading a book call Freakonomics. They make a very solid number based case that Roe vs Wade is the single largest factor as to why the American crime rates started dropping aggressively in the 1990’s. The simple fact that many unwanted kids were not brought into this world to be neglected and abused made all the difference. These unfit parents knew better and made the right choice.

    So if you insist that these children be brought into this world against their parent’s wishes, you had better be ready to help pay for their proper upbringing… Which includes proper early education. So answer the question.

    How would you help them?
    Are you happy to pay their welfare and prison costs?

  7. give2attain Says:

    By they way, Freakonomics also noted that adopted kids don’t do so good at academics. (ie genetic affect is too strong) But they do have a higher liklihood of having successful lives than if they had stayed with their biological parents.

    My thought is that if you don’t like paying early childhood education for these kids… You must have some other ideas than letting them become our future drop outs and criminals… That is after they have been abused or neglected by their incompetent parents… And just “not providing a program” or advising the Parents to give them up for adoption is not a solution.

    Personally I like some kind of reversible sterilization that is reversed once the Parents pass a test and prove financial means… Do you think that will ever fly. (hahaha) I am guessing that be too much Government involvement…

  8. 281 Exposed Says:

    Ha ha! We don’t think reversible sterilization will fly….but who knows what will happen if the public gets too fed up!

    It’s interesting to credit Roe V Wade with lowering crime rates in the 1990’s….we’re guessing that welfare reform and a booming economy were also factors.

    The data on adopted kids is interesting. We’re guessing that the failure/success of them in academics probably depends on several factors;

    1) Were they in foster care first? (ie; shuffled from home to home before being adopted, that can’t be good for them)

    2) Were they abuse or neglected before being adopted?

    3) How long we they with the natural parents (ie; was there a bond with them even if the parents were lousy)

    Adoption is not the perfect answer to every situation.

    With abortion, welfare, and criminals there is no perfect answer. However, we reject Sandy Peterson’s notion that “early childhood ed” has to be mandatory for every kid at taxpayer expense.

    Abortion is one things where making it 100% illegal has drawbacks. And not all people who have abortions are poor and unable to parent. People with money do dumb things and make stupid mistakes as well. Perhaps it is best to take a moral stand against abortion, fight late term removals, insist on parental notification and look the other way to everything else. The fact that 45 million children have been aborted in the last 38 years is just tough for people to swallow.

    As for welfare we say again; we are in favor of a social safety net for individuals that become unemployed or ill or even to go as far a drug or alcohol rehabilitation, but again there are limits. We can’t endlessly have half the people pay and the other half take. In other words, short term assistance YES WE WILL PAY….long term and repeat offenders NO WE WILL NOT PAY. Like we get a choice.

    We’re not sure every kid deprived of early childhood ed will wind up in jail or dropout…that seems like a stretch. Here again, though, we insist on limits to government! At some point the government handouts have to stop and individual responsibility has to begin.

    If we have to pay to lock up criminals, we guess we’ll have to but evil is a choice. Babies are born innocent, not good or bad.

    We wish we had a perfect answer….but there are many factors involved in an education; good or bad parents, good or bad teachers, safe environment at school and at home, school choice, socio-economics to a point, the skills and work habits of a student, etc. There isn’t a magic wand.

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