The subject came up last week in an interview with House Speaker Jase Bolger when I asked him about state funding for early-childhood education.
Bolger acknowledged the research that shows the value of early intervention services, but also he sees it as an area where government programs enable the lack of personal responsibility. A quick excerpt from the story:
”It’s a very difficult balance,” he said. “Kids go hungry, so schools start feeding them. Kids get in trouble after school, so there’s after-school problems. Parents don’t read to kids at home, so we give reading help at school. Parents don’t get kids ready for kindergarten, so we need preschool.So is there evidence that the good from early-childhood programs is offset by parents easing up on their own responsibilities?
We turn to schools to do the things that parents aren’t doing” and it builds an expectation in parents that it’s really the schools’ responsibility, Bolger said. “It’s an unintended consequence of government doing too much.”