I’m starting to hear some rumbling that a big pre-K program would make a great stimulus package education component.   I’d argue that per-K should be a major –  even the major – education spending item for the Obama Administration.  But, as a matter of near-term economic stimulus doesn’t school construction make more sense?   There is a real need for both traditional public schools and public charter schools and it’s a sensible way to create and maintain jobs.   Pre-K, by contrast, should not be a jobs program or looked upon that way.  For it to work, attention to quality and a sensible growth path are key.

16 Replies to “Stimulating”

  1. Being a Pre-K teacher I must disagree with you. Yes money should go towards school construction, but with the way that education is going Pre-K is a needed program. By the time a child enters Kindergarten, he is expected to know letters and sound and how to read sight words. Without P-K programs, That child will already be so far behind.

  2. I live in a state that is implementing universal pre-k. However the state does not include money for rent or building buildings to house the pre-k. As a result, there are space related issues to adding pre-k classrooms. I really think that building and increasing access to pre-k need to go hand and hand.
    I also agree from an economic stimulus perspective, building schools makes more sense.

  3. What is interesting is that child care is a growth industry during recessions. The key is the QUALITY of that child care and Pre-K growth.

  4. School construction as stimulus? More like pay-offs for banks, construction companies and other favored groups. There is absolutely no need for more buildings. You are only advocating make-work welfare schemes that do not add anything to the economy or offer any improvement for children as a whole. Rather, these projects prolong downturns and misallocate resources in a big way. A Keynesian plan for pre-K is plain ridiculous and myopic. You must get your economic advice from Mussolini? I thought he was dead. But his ideas live on in the government edusphere.

  5. I taught Georgia’s state funded Pre-K for six years. When I first started I thought of it as “glorified daycare”. But, as standards and assessment started taking place, I saw the value it truly has, especially now I teach in an elementary school. Pre-K is a great program with great benefits. I feel with a standard based Pre-K program in place, kindergarten teachers don’t need to start off on such a basic level. I don’t think we need to put an excessive amount of money into Pre-K, especially in those states where it is funded by the lottery or other means.

  6. As a former pre-K teacher, I would say a big, big definite on the need for universal pre-K!! Every child benefits, whether they are language delayed, developmentally delayed or advanced. In a good progra, they all gain. I would agree that this would be a great focus for Obama to move ahead with in education!!!!!!

  7. Many states have early childhood facilities projects ready to go that are being put on hold because of the downturn–they could generate jobs quickly. Don’t think just state pre-K, but child care and Head Start. Also, there is a need to rebuild facilities destroyed by storms on the Gulf Coast now.

  8. I have to agree with preschool teachers everywhere. Preschool is beyond important it is critical to the development and success of students in the classroom. With more and more pressure being place on kindergarten and what a child needs to learn by the completion of kindergarten, preschool needs to become the primary focus for reform. I have been teaching preschool for three years now with a bachelor’s degree and working on my master’s degree. In the three years I have been teaching I have seen a big increase in what a child needs to learn in preschool before transitioning to kindergarten, as well as a big increase in the amount of screenings, assessments, and documentation. I have not seen an increase in is the amount of pay for preschool teachers (well below teachers salaries), funding, and respect from other professionals in the field of education. We are educating these children to be successful in the classroom, we are teaching them appropriate classroom behavior, as well as building their knowledge of basic skills in literacy, math, science, and social studies in order for these children to succeed in school when they enter kindergarten. With the ever increasing demands in curriculum, students can not enter kindergarten and be successful without learning these skills prior to the start of school, making the need for quality preschool classrooms and qualified teachers essential.

  9. There is a lot to argue about regarding the importance of pre-K programs and school construction. I feel that both of these are areas of concern. It has been proven that the United States continues to fall further and further behind other nations in schooling, particularly with Science and Mathematics. There is a need for pre-K programs so that students know how to behave in school before Kindergarten. Much of Kindergarten is spent working on learning the rules of school rather than learning important academic material. If we get an earlier start, we will be able to teach our students much more and hopefully narrow the gap.

    In addition to pre-K programs, many schools are suffering due to their lack of resources, space, and building construction. As educators, we know how important the environment is to learning. Many schools are struggling with overcrowded classrooms, lack of resources in the classroom, and outdated materials. The buildings themselves are falling apart and need major reconstruction.

    It is difficult to say which area holds higher concern; they are both essential to improving our education in the United States.

  10. In such a competitive world and with such enormous economic problems facing our country, I think that Pre-K programs are in the best interests of our childeren and the future of our country. We must look for ways to allow our children to hit the ground running. Pre-K programs can help meet this need. ( Obiously we must address the issue of standardized tests in middle school and poor graduation rates in high school. ) Just being exposed at an ealier age ot the format, rules and school structures would be beneficial. If there is a need for new construction than those needs should be met. However, any talk of linking inverstments in education to “stimulus packages” scares me because I think that schools are not businesses.
    Here in Florida, education is viewed not as a value but as an expense.
    I want the government to invest in education because they recognize that what they are really doing is investing in our childern and the future, not because they are trying to stimulate the economy.

  11. I am a supporter of the pre-k programs. With the ever-changing standards, if a child does not attend a pre-k they will behind before they enter kindergarten. I have seen so many students who enter kindergarten not knowing their letters, numbers, sounds and many who cannot even write their name. If they are given the basics in pre-k then a kindergarten teacher will not have to take half the school year to teach letters, numbers and sounds. They can jump right into the other standards each kindergarten student is expected to master during kindergarten. As far as building new schools, I am not sure that is logical with all the budgets cuts every school and state has been forced to face and work with. I would love to see a school that houses all the pre-k students in my system. It saddens me to know of the many students who are turned away from pre-k because of limited space. I would love to see more schools being built but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  12. pre-k is very good. Knowing that young brain is a sponge. I mean look at all the deaf people who had cochlear implant as a toddler compare to someone like me who wore hearing aids all her life… and recently got a cochlear implant. I know for a fact that I would never be able to speak and write as well as those who had cochlear implant as a child. Even with my cochlear implant. I do believe in the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” as far as communication, reading, writing skills in humans.

    That should tell you something and why pre-k or even earlier should be important. But it is also important to leave to the parents as well rather they decide this or not. Family is also important to a child’s development.

  13. Pre-K is an extremely important component for every students early development. Students can begin to aquire social and cognitive skills.

    These programs can stimilate many jobs and most importantly offer young students educational skills. Each young mind will have an opportunity to florish in smaller classroom settings. Transportation(bus drivers), teachers, teacher aids, janitors and other educational staff are a few jobs that can be stimulated through more Pre-k programs.

  14. I’ve been reading a few posts and really and enjoy your writing. I’m thinking of linking to your posts from my site , just let me know if it’s feasible , thanks !

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