GOP lawmakers are up to their stingy, no-good tactics again with their war on poor people, but now they are targeting tiny humans. In their quest to keep the masses uneducated, the Republicans in Montana are fighting to block preschool funding.
Gov. Steve Bullock (D) expressed his disgust while addressing teachers in Billings Montana after reading a letter written in August. About 50 Republican legislators signed the letter imploring Montana’s congressional delegation to reject $40 million in federal preschool grant funding. This move came even though most of those that signed the letter, actually voted for this funding to be available.
Gov. Bullock joked that he had been pretty sure it was him, and not the 4-year-olds that the Republicans hated when they refused to add a 37 million dollar proposal for a state funded preschool program in April. However, after seeing the letter, he said:
I start to worry that some of them might hate 4-year-olds too.
Here is the big thing that seems to be missing from the equation: The money would be going to cover preschool programming for children whose family income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Poor kids.
The excuses to NOT fund preschools, range from the “creation of government-provided ‘free’ preschools will most certainly drive existing private preschools from the market,” to claiming that public preschools are “insulting to the private providers who currently, and admirably, provide this service to willing parents.” Then of course the paranoia of the GOP at accepting “Federal Standards.” (You know, the standards that may require them to teach the children facts and figures, not myths and conjectures?)
There is already research from the Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness that shows us that funding free preschools in two other states actually raised overall enrollment in all preschools, even the privately funded ones.
The children affected by the decision to block the grant money would be those in poverty, those that would not be able to afford the privately funded schools anyway. It seems patently obvious that the GOP is more interested in keeping the poor people poor by denying them the same quality of education that their richer counterparts have, than they do making decisions based on what is best for the children of our country.
Feature image via Pixabay