"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Will the Joplin & Kirkwood School District Playbooks of 'Educational Equity' Doom Private Preschool Providers?

It's government to the rescue.  Or is it?  Joplin Missouri suffered a devastating tornado earlier this year.  Lives were lost, properties destroyed and services delayed.  A result of the tornado was a disruption in child care provision as many private centers were destroyed.

Private business owners tried their best to adapt to these circumstances such as day care center owner Diana Heckmaster.  From the Joplin Globe:

She and her daughter own The Learning Tree, which opened in a temporary location at 101 Plaza Drive after the May 22 tornado.  At her old location, she was licensed for 56 children, with 46 enrolled. At her new home, she’s licensed for 48, but is at 30 with no waiting list. She said she expects to be licensed for as many as 88 children after a state inspection in January.

This private citizen should be patted on her back for her nimbleness and plan of action after a disaster.  The government should be delighted it has private taxpaying citizens contributing to the pot of state funding.  But alas, this is not the case:

The Joplin School District has announced plans to expand its day care openings to accommodate up to 600 children by next August — 425 more than the district serves now.  Orem said that if the district saw a need to go beyond the 600 children planned for next August, it would expand further. The district would likely have to hire at least 20 more teachers for 600 children, Orem said, to fulfill required provider-to-child ratios. The day care would be open to the community, not just district employees who have children that age.

Why does the district believe there is a need for the government to provide day care for its students?  The article states that 24 of the 35 centers have reopened.  One day care provider said that many residents left the area after the tornado and many centers are not at capacity at this time.  

Apparently the district believes only public education can provide what small children "need" and it is exists to help those parents who don't want to pay for childcare.  The bureaucracy's only goal is to help students and families:

Orem said there are many benefits for children who attend early childhood centers, including better pre-reading skills, more extensive vocabularies and stronger basic math skills.

She said the district’s goal of improving graduation rates is also tied to day care, since children who attend day care have higher graduation rates.

Told that some local providers didn’t see the need for the school to create spots for up to 600 children, and that they were worried the school might undercut their business, Orem said: “We’re not trying to take away from any preschools or day care or home care. We were told that there has been a need and there were waiting lists with people taking buses to Webb City and Carl Junction and parents weren’t working, or that licensed day care was too (expensive).

“I understand the day cares’ position. I know that they want to keep their day cares full and we are not trying to compete with them at all. We just want to make sure the need is filled. There was a need before the storm and a need now, and it’s going to take time to build back.”

I would like to read those studies she cites on educational progress for children in day care centers.  I've read studies where daycare has been shown to not be beneficial to young children, and in fact, any gains made by children are negated by third grade.  You can see how this is advancing.  My school district (Kirkwood) implemented "free" kindergarten this past month at an initial cost of $850,000. 

You can figure out the scenario.  When the test scores for 5 year olds aren't where the consortia believe they should be, we will institute "free" preschool.  This universal "free" preschool was seriously debated in our long-term educational vision for the state, Educated Citizenry 2020.  One senator involved in the plan said "it is gathering dust on the shelf".  I'm not sure that is true.

According to the article:

The at-risk students at Joplin Early Childhood qualify for federal Title I funding so their families don’t have to pay for services.  

The families don't pay for the service, but taxpayers do.  This isn't fair to middle class parents, though, (this was the "educational equity" argument from our superintendent to open the "free" kindergarten program to all students) so now the districts must offer this to families who can afford unmandated programs:

Orem said children from middle-income families have the hardest time finding quality day care because low-income families qualify for Head Start and other programs, but middle-class families do not.

Look for what's happening in Joplin (with the excuse of a tornado) and brace for it coming to your district soon.  It's wrapped in these terms and beliefs:
  • "educational equity"
  • the government is responsible for the cost of educating ALL children (regardless of income) from birth 
  • skewed or nonexistent studies on the benefit of preschool education tied to long term educational benefit
  • the cessation of private companies providing childcare services since it is now "free" to all families
  • the arrogant attitude of public school bureaucrats stating the public system will provide better pre-reading skills, more extensive vocabularies and stronger basic math skills
Start recognizing the circular arguments and half truths from the districts:
  • these programs are not "free"...the cost is funded by the Federal government, state government and/or the district via taxes
  • the government does not necessarily provide better services than private industries 
  •  by using taxpayer money, districts are relegating many private day care providers to the unemployment line, and the taxpayers will have a double taxburden supporting more public employees AND unemployed private employees.  

From two other day care providers:

“You look at the providers that have lost everything and they’re still trying to open back up, and if the school is going to open it up, I don’t know if there’s going to be enough kids,” Gould said. “It could put some of us that are small-business people at a different standpoint.”

Kid’s Corner, 2602 S. Wall Ave., also was destroyed in the tornado. Owner Terri Malcom said the center is rebuilding on the same location and hopes to open in April. It is licensed for 60 children.

“It will hurt us bad and they’re going to use our own tax dollars to do it. Doesn’t feel very fair.”  



  1. In both models parents are paying for the daycare. Its apparent "free-ness" will be hard for many people to resist, even if they could afford to pay for a private one. Daycare will be run as a one-size-fits-all proposition just like public school. But only in the private model do parents have control over the service provided to their children.

  2. Well, I guess the breakdown of the family really boomed with NAFTA and the internet (and Clinton/Gore) taking jobs away from the common man and woman. It gets complicated, but before you knew it, Mothers had to work to make ends meet, but money was sucked even further to pay for someone else to raise their children.
    Now the government wants them.
    What will be the next step?
    The time has passed, but is not too late, to stand our ground against the family breakdown and a culture of dumbness and slavery.
    It IS the Communist way.
    We are awake and need to take a look at the details and consequences of deep sleep.


Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter