Patriots: For over 26 years, your generosity has made it possible to offer The Patriot Post without a subscription fee to military personnel, students, and those with limited means. Please support the 2023 Year-End Campaign today.

January 26, 2022

Universal Pre-K — Another Progressive Bad Idea

What Democrats really want is the government-funded progressive takeover of our lives.

With Democrats’ multitrillion dollar Build Back Better initiative hitting a wall in the U.S. Senate, President Joe Biden has suggested that components of the bill be advanced separately. One of these components is a plan for government funded universal pre-K schooling.

It would fund school for some 6 million children ages 3 and 4.

Federal funds would be provided for six years, the first three funded 100% by the federal government, with the share provided by states increasing up to 40% by year six.

Total cost estimate generated by the bill’s sponsors is $200 billion.

But like the entire Build Back Better Plan, the cost estimate is far below reality.

Who will believe that the plan will die after six years?

American Enterprise Institute analysts suggest a more realistic price tag should be around $500 billion.

We’re talking here about adding hundreds of billions of dollars of new pre-K education infrastructure, requiring, by some estimates, around 50,000 new teachers, plus classrooms, etc. It is an indication of either the quality or the honesty of thought going on that Democrats want to spend hundreds of billions at a time when the nation is already deeply in debt for a massive new, basically untested concept, to which, on paper, the federal government is only committed for six years.

What exactly are the merits of the idea?

Research indeed shows benefits from a well-structured pre-K program. But absent are solid conclusions of lasting benefits. Most likely to benefit are low-income, disadvantaged children. But providing pre-K investment and then sending these children off to the broken K-12 public schools in these same neighborhoods is ridiculous.

Let’s turn to Nobel Prize-winning University of Chicago economist James Heckman, a highly regarded expert on the importance of early child development.

When asked about universal pre-K in a recent interview, Heckman’s reply was: “I have never supported universal pre-school. … Public preschool programs can potentially compensate for the home environments of disadvantaged children. No public preschool program can provide the environments and the parental love and care of a functioning family and the lifetime benefits that ensue.”

Heckman observes: “The family is the source of life and growth. Families build values, encourage (or discourage) their children in school and out. Families — far more than schools — create or inhibit life opportunities. … Schools can only partially compensate for the damage done to the children by dysfunctional families.”

But even if we accept Heckman’s observations, we’re still left with big questions.

What is our understanding now of family and what is deemed to be dysfunctional? Woke culture will condemn any defense of traditional values and therefore our traditional idea of family.

Recently Pew Research surveyed displacement of the traditional family with alternative lifestyles, such as cohabitation, increasing number of Americans delaying marriage, single-parent households and same-sex marriage. When Pew pollsters asked whether the growing alternatives to the traditional family are a good or bad thing, in 2010, 32% said it made “no difference.” By 2019, 45% said it made “no difference.”

The one option for 3- and 4-year-olds to receive education in a traditional framework is church schools. But this one option is not available through the Democrat pre-K megafunding program. Democrats are just interested in options that are basically extensions of public schools.

Facilities that are used primarily for “sectarian instruction or religious worship” don’t qualify, per Biden.

This despite government data indicating about one-quarter of parents participating in child care send their child to a church-related facility.

The bottom line is that, once again, what Democrats really want, this time in the name of child care, is the government-funded progressive takeover of our lives.

The multibillion-dollar Democrat universal pre-K program should meet the same fate as the Build Back Better legislation of which it was a part. It should be stopped.


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.