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Universal Preschool News

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In this section, you'll find editorials, legislation, public policy and trends on issues relating to preschool, pre-kindergarten, childcare and the push toward universal preschool education. Particularly of note are articles concerning the states claim of a compelling interest in compulsory preschool education. Visit often for the latest preschool news.

Differences Between Obama's Education Speech And His Adminstration's Actions The president endorsed the expansion of innovative charter schools, performance pay for teachers, and the elimination of ineffective teachers. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any real legislative action planned on any of those items. Charter schools received almost no funding from the stimulus package and there was no requirement for states to remove destructive charter school caps in exchange for billions. Similarly, while he plans to fund a few teacher incentive pilot programs, President Obama missed the opportunity to tie the billions in new federal education dollars to outcomes that could result in serious personnel reform. by Lisa Snell March 18, 2009 [More Results from Reason Foundation]
Let's Walk before We Run: Cautionary Advice on Childcare Ottawa and the provinces should use their spending powers to ensure access to reasonable quality childcare programs for "at risk" children, rather than launch universal childcare, says a Commentary released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. Childcare programs targeted on disadvantaged families could generate significant benefits, says the paper, Let's Walk before We Run: Cautionary Advice on Childcare, by John Richards, Professor, Public Policy Program, at Simon Fraser University and Matthew Brzozowski, Assistant Professor, Economics, at the University of Western Ontario. While studies show childcare programs benefit children from low-income or single-parent families, who are likely to be disadvantaged in terms of preparation for formal schooling, the net benefits for children from stable, middle-class homes are doubtful, according to the study. Why do "at risk" children clearly benefit? Evidence from US studies suggests that benefits are a function of the gap between the quality of the childcare centre and the home as a learning environment. by John Richards and Matthew Brzozowski August 11, 2006 [More Results from C.D. Howe Institute [pdf]]
Is Universal Preschool Beneficial? An Assessment of RAND Corporation's Analysis and Proposals for California Almost two-thirds of California families currently choose to send their 4-year-olds to preschool.Of those who do, almost half choose a preschool program operated by the state of California, while the other half choose a privately operated preschool. If Proposition 82, an initiative on the June ballot, is implemented those figures will radically change. Most family- and other privately owned preschools will vanish, replaced by government-run, taxpayer-funded preschools. This report assesses RAND Corporation's cost benefit analysis and finds that it significantly overestimates the upsides and drastically underestimates the downsides of universal preschool and the California proposal. Using RAND's own data and alternative assumptions based on the studies they reference, it is easy to demonstrate that universal preschool generates losses of 25 to 30 cents for every dollar spent. by Christopher F. Cardiff and Edward Stringham May 30, 2006 [More Results from Reason Foundation [pdf]]
Professors Find Preschool Benefits Grossly Exaggerated Los Angeles (May 30, 2006) " A Rand Corporation study that claims universal preschool will deliver $2.62 in benefits for every dollar spent by California taxpayers has been thoroughly discredited by two San Jose State University economics professors. San Jose State University economics professors show the Rand preschool study "cherry-picked" data, based its claims on "unbelievable assumptions that bias the results," and omitted numerous costs and other factors that significantly lower the alleged benefits of universal preschool. May 30, 2006 [More Results from Reason Foundation]
The Case Against Universal Preschool in California The Institute for American's Future and the Center for American Progress are calling for $325 billion of added federal education spending over the next decade to create a nationwide, universal preschool program. Although the coalition has not released a specific plan, typical universal preschool proposals call for replacing the private parentdriven preschool system with a taxpayer-funded system that would likely add one or two years of "voluntary" preschool for all children onto the current K-12 public education system. Nationwide, at least 40 states provide funding for preschool programs, and at least 28 considered legislation to expand state-funded preschool programs in 2005. by Lisa Snell April 17, 2006 [More Results from Reason (CA)]
The Early Bird Misses the Worm: Evidence on Early Childhood Education The movement for an increased government role in early childhood education is gaining momentum. Early childhood education is the complete system of education for children from birth to school entry. Georgia, Oklahoma, and Florida have already implemented universal public preschool, while such states as California and Arizona may follow closely behind. Is universal pre-K a good investment of taxpayers' money' With the majority of four-year-olds in Texas and the United States already attending preschool, is it necessary for government to take an even larger role' by Jamie Story January 5, 2006 [More Results from Texas Public Policy Foundation [pdf]]