Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arne Duncan joins Bev Perdue's Pre-K fight

Gov. Bev Perdue got some high-up support for her move today to expand pre-kindergarten in North Carolina to 2,000 more at-risk preschoolers. High-up as in the Obama administration's Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

In a statement, he said: "I applaud Gov. Perdue's innovative efforts to ensure that 2,000 additional North Carolina children will have access this year to the high quality early childhood education they deserve."

Then Duncan took a swipe at the Republican-dominated N.C. legislature which has been a foil in Perdue's efforts to make pre-K more widely available: "While the Governor has been a tireless advocate for fully funding early childhood education, her commitment has not been matched by the legislature, which slashed budgets last year leaving thousands of children with fewer educational opportunities... I hope that, as state leaders begin funding conversations for next year, they work to make this situation right by giving all of North Carolina's young at-risk learners a chance to succeed."

Oh, snap. That's not likely to make much of an impression on N.C. lawmakers who've already largely ignored a judge's ruling that their cuts to the pre-kindergarten program denied N.C. at-risk children their constitutional access to education. The legislature cut funding and reduced the number of slots available to at-risk four-year-olds during last year's legislative session.

In July, Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, a Republican, issued an order in which he said that “the State of North Carolina shall not deny any eligible at-risk four year old admission to the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program (NCPK).” The judge also directed the state to “provide the quality services of the NCPK to any eligible four year old that applies.”

Lawmakers have done nothing to address the issue since the ruling. But Gov. Perdue has presented proposals to restore thousands of slots without a tax increase or further cuts to other programs. Today, she said 2,000 more children will be served using money available from child care subsidy funds on a one-time basis to meet the urgent need of at-risk children.

We're glad Perdue has found funds to expand the reach of the program. Studies have shown the value of the program, and N.C. legislators were unwise to gouge it the way they did last year.

Posted by Fannie Flono


Wiley Coyote said...

Post those studies Fannie.

Post the data for More at Four and Bright Beginnings.

NC More at Four, which is based on Bright Beginnings, is as useless as Bright Beginnings. There hasn't been one shred of data since 2000 on Bright Beginnings.

To suggest "studies show the value of pre-K' is laughable. We're not stupid Fannie. If a child has NO direction at home versus those that do or in a DAYCARE pre-K environment, of course a child will be better off.

The catch is that taxpayers should NOT - repeat should NOT be responsible for raising and babysitting these kids.

Eliminate Bright Beginnings and More at Four. Neither are mandated and I hope the state of NC fights legislating from the bench on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Arne Duncan = never a teacher, never worked in a school, no education experience beyond being school by Obama on the basketball court. The most he can do is applaud as he has no substance.

Anonymous said...

Study quoted earlier in Gov Bev's announcement was done in 2002, published in 2003 and had nothing to do with a straight preK program. It had to do with a mini Harlem Achievement Zone type practice.

Study was totally irrleveant and then did not provide any factual basis for its praise of the program. Just more big government and more governemebt buddies slopping up to the taxpayer trough. The institue mentioned is a biased entity established to promote more big government raising children.

TruthSpreader said...

To read that Judge 'Howdy' Manning is a Republican is almost unbelieveable, but I will take Flannie at her written word ...

Here's some more of that Obama style baby sittin!

How many government employees can we FIRE on Jan 21, 2013?

Anonymous said...

Arne Duncan has no credentials to tell anyone what to do about education. He does not even have a Masters dgree in education or anything!! His claim to fame was head of the Chicago school system - the worst system in the USA. He actually paid black students to go to school!! Pathetic. Perdue is pathetic, too.