The new refrain (echoed in an East Valley Tribune article) that state-funded preschool is necessary for children to arrive in kindergarten or first grade “well prepared” does not reflect the research about early childhood learning or the reality that most families are well-equipped to prepare their child for their first day of school.

Research on preschool programs, state-funded or not, finds almost universally that they do nothing to boost children from stable homes. They do help children who have unstable homes, or who do not speak English well. In these cases, preschool serves as a form of substitute parenting. But children who have good parents do not need substitute parenting, and they should not have this needless service provided at taxpayer expense, especially in a time of state budget crises in Arizona and everywhere.

Advocates of state-funded early childhood programs will tell you these are crucial for our future. The research proves them wrong. And good parents everywhere should not have their massive contributions continually insulted and belittled by these repeated falsehoods.

Joy Pullmann

Education research fellow, Heartland Institute

Chicago, IL

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