Apparently the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in Iowa didn't get the memo about the importance of early childhood education. The vote to end funding for families with limited income so their 4-year-olds could attend pre-school is surprising since Iowa has a history of valuing education (by creating this pre-school funding in the first place), and the results have been that Iowa students are some of the highest performing in the country.
But now a $500 million savings over the next three years looked more appetizing to the GOP than actually educating all of Iowa's children. As others stated, the move is incredibly short-sighted, as this education program would pay for itself as more students graduate from high school and go on to become productive citizens. Why would anyone mess with that winning scenario?
Pre-school can be expensive, and Iowa should be applauded for recognizing the great advantage of providing education to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. And as this cost-cutting bill heads to the Senate, all Iowans should be standing up and screaming their heads off to stop these education cuts before they can be implemented.
It's been proven again, and again, the long-term benefits of pre-schools and the dramatic positive impact a head start can make on a community. Why is it that Republican lawmakers seem hellbent on cutting education and giving that money back to the wealthy? To keep poor people uneducated and limit opportunities? It's such a head scratcher to me that education cuts are a target for the GOP. If you want to increase your tax base, increase the number of people who receive a strong educational background. It's really that simple. Then everyone can have more money. Isn't that what you want?
Argh. In the meantime, if you're in Iowa, write your Senator today and make sure they don't let this half-baked idea come to fruition.
Image via edenpictures/Flickr