On Thursday, the Center for American Progress released a grand plan to provide pre-school for the Obama Administration. I’ll pause for a moment while you make the requisite jokes about the missing Obama pre-school transcripts. The plan outlines how the administration can provide free pre-school. According to an article by Phillip Elliott at CNS News, subsidies for families with younger children would increase to an average of $7200 per child and the number of students in early Head Start Programs would double.
The article states: “Under the center's plan, Washington would match states' spending on these preschool programs for 3- or 4-year-olds at an average rate of $10,000 per child — enough to cover full-day programs. The program would be phased in over five years, starting first with low-income students who, studies show, benefit the most from pre-kindergarten programs. Children ages 3 and 4 would be eligible to attend preschool for free if they come from a family of four earning $46,100 or less. For families making more than that, the rates would be adjusted based on income.”
Sounds terrific, doesn’t it? Who could possibly object to helping poor children receive an early education? Only the most heinous, most vicious one percenter would deny children such things as free pre-school and Head Start, right?
The benefits of early childhood education are boundless, and no sane person would argue that. But no sane person would argue that such things should remain under the aegeis of the federal government. That is madness. Why, you ask?
Well, to begin when all of the federal benefits are added up, the effort would cost 119.9 billion dollars over the next 10 years. Last time I checked, the Full Faith and Credit of the United States Government was not sufficient to put a 7-11 taquito on layaway, let alone finance early childhood education for everyone.