A friend has just alerted me that Gov. Romney earned plaudits on National Review Online from Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum for his stance on universal preschool in Massachusetts. This is noteworthy for two reasons. First, voters are fed up with all the spending in Washington, and everybody and his brother is promising to do something about it, but Gov. Romney is actually setting an example of fiscal conservatism. Second, I happen to think this one’s a “values” issue–and not the way the left would portray it. The easy response here is to ask how in the world a Christian could support free preschool–it’s “for the children,” right? But think on it again. As Lukas writes, “Government provision of preschool would also be another step in the creeping government takeover over of what had been family’s responsibilities.” She adds:
Voters and politicians should…consider if government should be in the business of educating children as young as two. Anyone familiar with the K-12 school system’s underwhelming results should question the logic of expanding government-run education. Each year in the public-school system, American children fall further behind their peers overseas. Fixing the existing public-school system seems like it should be a higher priority than giving them even more children to educate.
Right on. I went to public, er, government, schools for 13 years, and I survived. But if I am ever blessed with a two-year-old, the last place I would want him is a government school, learning either no values or, worse and more likely, the government’s.
If you want to send your child to preschool, great. But pay for it yourself and don’t delude yourself into thinking that a government school would be a good idea–at any price. Kudos to Gov. Romney for getting this one right.