By Kimberly Morin
Yesterday, the House Education Committee passed a ridiculous full-day kindergarten bill that actually increased the amount Governor Sununu wanted to spend from $9 million per year to over $14 million per year. The amendment was brought forth by ‘Republican’ Terry Wolf and replaces Senate Bill 191 (SB 191) completely. The amendment is actually House Bill 155 (HB 155). The committee voted to pass this outrageously expensive addition to the state taxpayers’ budget by a vote of 15-4.
There were only four Republicans who didn’t lose their minds and voted against the bill – Victoria Sullivan, Josh Moore, Carolyn Halstead and Glen Cordelli. These Republicans actually seem to be looking out for taxpayers, children and are of course, fiscally responsible. The others, like Terry Wolf, are nothing but big government, big spending representatives who call themselves Republicans. It’s not clear why.
According to the New Hampshire Republican Party Platform:
We believe that economies flourish when all people retain as much of their hard earned income as possible, to spend and invest as they see fit.
We believe that low taxes are the result of low spending; that government has a moral obligation to the people to be as cost effective as possible, to always limit spending and growth of government, and to cut spending and cost of government at every possible turn.
Clearly some Republicans haven’t quite gotten the message. This is why people voted for them, not for an increase in spending and the size of government, which is exactly what state-funded full-day kindergarten is. The price tag is over $14 million a year now but that will surely increase as the cities and towns whose residents voted to increase their own property taxes to fund full-day kindergarten will be asking for state funding. Of course, those cities and towns won’t decrease the property taxes for their residents.
And while Sununu may have run on full-day kindergarten, no one ever called him a ‘conservative’ and no other Republicans ran on this failed Democrat idea. The choice was between him and an extreme left winger.
State-funded kindergarten is a bad idea for a slew of reasons, not just fiscal. Not only will this put private kindergarten and daycare out of business (which are better for kids this young) but as a result will decrease the choices parents have for their children. On top of that, there have been multiple studies done in multiple countries around the world that show public school kindergarten can actually hurt children. From the Miami Herald:
Alliance for Childhood, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, released a report called “Crisis in the Kindergarten” that states that all the testing they are exposed to neither predicts nor improves their educational outcomes. More disturbing is that these and other academic demands (like assigning homework) is forcing out playtime, the one true thing vital to future success. Play — especially the let’s-pretend kind — is how kids develop higher-level thinking, fine-tune their language and social skills, and cultivate empathy. Orenstein shares that a survey on kindergartners found that they spent two to three hours a day being instructed and tested in reading and math. They spent less than 30 minutes playing.
There have also been studies that show an increase in Attention Deficit Disorder misdiagnosis in children in kindergarten. This is something that will negatively affect these children for the rest of their lives. From Michigan State University:
Nearly 1 million children in the United States are potentially misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder simply because they are the youngest – and most immature – in their kindergarten class, according to new research by a Michigan State University economist.
These children are significantly more likely than their older classmates to be prescribed behavior-modifying stimulants such as Ritalin, said Todd Elder, whose study appears in the September issue of the Journal of Health Economics.
Such inappropriate treatment is particularly worrisome because of the unknown impacts of long-term stimulant use on children’s health, Elder said. It also wastes an estimated $320 million-$500 million a year on unnecessary medication – some $80 million-$90 million of it paid by Medicaid, he said.
Republicans have so lost their minds that Manchester Mayor Gatsas actually tried to tie the overblown opioid issue in the Granite State to kindergarten:
— Mayor Ted Gatsas (@MayorTedGatsas) April 24, 2017
It’s unclear why Republicans would push for a program that is, in general, bad news all around. Democrats support full-day kindergarten because it’s a boost to union membership (teachers are forced to pay in the forced union state of New Hampshire); it gets kids indoctrinated early in the failed public education system run by the government; it increases spending and will also increase taxes. These are all things Republicans are supposed to be against.
Eventually, state-funded kindergarten could also become mandatory dependent upon who controls the legislature and corner office. Eventually, some lunatic will want to add state-funded pre-school as well. Oh wait, Democrats already want that. The federal government has already proven that Headstart is a multi-billion dollar failure but Democrats, and obviously some Republicans, would rather repeat failed history than do something different. From Townhall:
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a study to evaluate Head Start’s effectiveness. The study found that though the program had a “positive impact” on children’s experiences through the preschool years, “advantages children gained during their Head Start and age 4 years yielded only a few statistically significant differences in outcomes at the end of 1st grade for the sample as a whole. Impacts at the end of kindergarten were scattered.” Wait, only a “few statistically significant differences,” for $8,000 per child per year? And this is what the government found!
There is no advantage to taxpayer-funded educational or day care programs as proven by the government. In fact, as shown in the studies above, government-run kindergarten can actually have negative affects, some severe, on children. There is absolutely no valid reason for any Republican to vote for state-funded full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire. Absolutely none. Democrats don’t care about what is best for children nor do they care what is best for taxpayers who have to fund big government. Taxpayers shouldn’t be funding what is essentially daycare for working parents. Daycare that can actually hurt the future for some children.
Republicans who support any of these bills have seriously lost their minds. They were not elected to increase the size of government. They were not elected to put a program into place that will possibly hurt Granite State children (especially with the horrific Common Core standards being used today). Republicans were elected to be fiscally responsible not morally and fiscally bankrupt like Democrats.