Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kaine Favors Vouchers

Sort of. The RTD has this story on Kaine's 4-year old program. Apparently, he has realized how tough it will be to impliment, so he is proposing basically offering vouchers to parents to send their children to private 4-year old programs not run by the public schools.
He is not in favor of this type of practice for K-12 schools though.

I have always been against this stupid 4-year old program. I think 13 years of school should be more than enough. This is only another situation where the state is trying to pay to babysit our children.


  • At 5/11/2006 7:59 PM, Blogger James E. Martin said…

    Public High School Vouchers are dumb...

  • At 5/11/2006 10:02 PM, Blogger Vivian J. Paige said…

    There are a number of studies around that demonstrate that early childhood education is critical.

    And what's this "our children" stuff? How many many kids do you have? :)

  • At 5/12/2006 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Until parents fulfill their jobs of being a child's first teachers, our society is doomed. Yes, early intervention is important, but it should be done in a nurturing environment. The schools should not be responsible for solving all of the world's problems. Head Start needs to be revamped to require parental involvement, not just have it as an options. Until the parents are trained, education will not be a priority.

  • At 5/12/2006 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The arrogance of young republicans is often bracing if not refreshing. My wife and I have two kids and we both work to give them a home and other basics. We don't "choose" to work, we have to.

    I suppose that's why I'm a Democrat, just not rich enough to sit around and pontificate about how other folks should raise their kids. When you get out in the real world "Elephant Ears" you'll realize that it isn't all just college republican meetings --- once mom and daddy stop paying the bills someone, and sometimes everyone, has to go to work.

    Studies show that early childhood learning is key, especially for children from economically challenged families. Far from "babysitting" I can see from our children that the social enrichment and the early education has made a big difference. I'm not sure how we would choose to live if we could afford for one of us to stay home, but I am very grateful that we can afford to send our kids to preschool. If we couldn't I would most certainly want to find a way to get them the advantages it provides. Why shouldn't we all provide that critical early learning through public education? Jefferson said that a democracy can only function with an educated population, and he was right.

    "Anonymous," when you have children you will find that "on the job" training is the best. Put your kids at the center of your life and it will work out. If you fail to do that all the training in the world won't help. By the way, just because we work doesn't mean that we aren't our children's first and best teachers.

  • At 5/12/2006 10:19 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    JM, I am not a big fan of vouchers either.
    9:43, if these kids were actually going to learn something in this 4-year old program it might be different. I realize people have to work and need someone to babysit their kids, but why should the government pay for it? Thats all this will amount to.

  • At 5/12/2006 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I chose to stay home with my two children and I had to sacrifice a lot because my husband's salary wasn't much, but we made it by learning to not have the newest car, no cable tv, name brand clothes, etc. Too many parents both work so they can "buy their kids all the stuff to keep up with the Joneses.I am sick of hearing about how a parent "has" to work. It depends on whether you are trying to keep up with the Joneses or having the bare necessities. Both of my children have been a joy in our lives. I went to the public library every other day and went to "Moms Day Out" sponsored by the Mennonite churches. The opportunities are out there if you really want them.The state shouldn't have to pay for a babysitting service. That's why we have all day kindergartens. They accomplished just as much in the half day programs. The money can be better spent on teachers' salaries so the good ones won't burn out. The great society of Head Start has not made much of a difference and look how long it has been in existence and that educates the 4 year olds. Why does our governor not see that it hasn't worked before?

  • At 5/13/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger Lowell Fulk said…

    GOPHokie and anon of 5:24,
    Please explain your understanding of what the 4 year old program does and who is involved?

    This is a discussion well worth having, but there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about what Head Start and the 4 year old programs are and are not.

  • At 5/13/2006 10:50 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Lowell, I think it is just another grade that they want to implement before Kindergarden. It may be able to "stimulate mind growth", but isnt 13 grades enough time to do that anyway? Lowell, I imagine you are old enough that you did not even attend kindergarden, and you turned out fine. I turned out fine with kindergarden.
    Why do we need more grades?
    It just seems like a waste of money for an extra babysitting service to me.

  • At 5/13/2006 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    According to the "Hurdle Ahead for Va. Pre-K Plan Transportation, Health Issues Will Compete for Funds, Legislators Predict"

    By Maria Glod

    "Kaine's Start Strong plan, which he says would cost about $296 million a year after it is fully running by the end of his four-year term, is in its early stages. Many details -- including the required teacher qualifications and salaries -- have yet to be decided. But although the proposal appealed to many voters, some state lawmakers and educators say Kaine will face significant challenges as he works to offer preschool for all of the state's 100,000 4-year-olds.

    State officials said 25 localities didn't seek funds for the program this year, largely because there was no space for classes in public schools or local governments didn't provide required matching funds.

    Kaine said he will set up advisory groups of parents, educators and businesspeople who will work to decide how to best provide preschool in their localities as well as a statewide council to oversee the process. Classes could be held at public schools or through a network of existing private schools -- a way to ensure there is enough space available.

    Del. R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta), whose 3-year-old son attends private preschool, said that he backs current state funding for preschool for children from poor families but that new state funds might be better spent improving public schools or health care."

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