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The Iowa Preschool Battle

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Natalie Pickett

on 11 March 2011

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Transcript of The Iowa Preschool Battle

Paying for Preschool Is preschool effective? If so Is it a good investment for taxpayers? What is the cost? What price will be paid? Do children benefit from early childhood education? will be the consequences of Governor Branstad's proposed revision to the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program? http://www.iowa.gov/educate/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=940&Itemid=1279 View the current program here: 20,000 Approximate Number of Four Year-olds Currently Particpating $15,000,000 Cost of the program in 2007 $70,000,000 2011 Program Cost 90% Iowa School District Participation $43,000,000 Proposed Program Estimate it worth it? Schools are not required to participate in the program. Some say yes | some say no. The new proposal provides scholarships to participants based on need. But every participating family pays something... ...some as little as three dollars a month. $3 The scholarship voucher can be used at both public and private pre-schools. "Research shows preschool investments have the most long-lasting impact on children who come from homes with financial need. As such, our program will be targeted to those families and will give parents flexibility to choose the preschool environment that best meets their needs."

-Governor Terry Branstad "Parents ought to have skin in the game..." According to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Republicans deny wanting to eliminate the program entirely, but state that the current program is far too expensive. part 2 part 3 part 1 http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/article_16672810-3132-11e0-af12-001cc4c002e0.html are the pros and cons? Some say the proposed program will restrict access: http://www.mccoyforsenate.com/newsroom/latest-news/item/strong-support-for-statewide-preschool.html Still others believe the requirement for certified teachers should be maintained. Some evidence suggests this is not necessarily a benefit: http://www.cato.org/pressroom.php?display=news&id=157 Parents are often split on the issue as well. Many parents of preschool children believe it helps them with social skills, general behavior, and prepares them to learn. On the other hand some believe that pre-school confuses children with inconsistent discipline (children have to live by two sets of rules), increased aggression and sadness when the child has to spend a day away from the family, damaging child-parent bond. Benefits of pre-school dissapear by the 3rd grade. http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/12/15/preschool-doesnt-help-iowa-children-republican-legislative-leader-says/ The majority of children who attend preschool, enter kindergarten with better learning skills, social skills, used to sharing, and can be separated from mom. Predictions are mixed on whether the Governor's proposal adopted. Tuesday, March 10th, the Iowa House passed the bill on a 55 to 45 vote. Iowa House File 535: http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=billinfo&Service=Billbook&menu=false&ga=84&hbill=HF535 My dad says no matter what the outcome... ...the children may be the ones who pay... ...either through inadequate preschools... ...or inadequate budgets.
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