Universal Preschool a Universal Waste

Published May 23, 2006

To the Editors:

The Times is absolutely right to oppose Proposition 82. From Oklahoma to Quebec, Universal Preschool has generally failed to produce its promised results where tried, and at great expense.

American students do well versus international standards in early elementary school because so much early education is done by parents or at places where the parents have substantial impact on the choice of teachers, locations, and programs. But once our kids get into government schools, they fall off the charts by comparison. The last thing we need is for our children to be under the numbing thumb of the Nanny State even sooner.

The idea is as expensive as it is bad: a multi-billion dollar tax increase for this “free” program will cost at least $50,000 per new preschooler per year. And that is if we accept the proponents’ estimates of the price, something history shows would be quite foolish to do. (The Quebec program, for example, costs over 30 times more than originally planned.)

Proposition 82 is one of the most dangerous proposals to hit the ballot in years. It poses a real risk to California’s economy and, more importantly, to its children.


Ross Kaminsky
Nederland, CO 80466

Ross Kaminsky is a fellow of the Heartland Institute