Friday, August 25, 2006

No Pre-K

Gov. Haley Barbour, former big tobacco lobbyist and GOP fundraiser, has agreed to a 3% teacher pay raise (funded by the school districts, not the state) but doesn't support pre-K. Who does pre-K help the most? Low-income single parents, i.e. poor, black women.

Article here.

Money quote:

But Barbour said he does not support another key component Bounds has pushed: $10 million for 88 pilot prekindergarten programs. "I don't think that's a wise expense of our money," he said. "Having 14 grades is not as smart as trying to do it other ways."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have, and have had for many years, mixed feelings on "mandatory" pre-K. In many ways, I think it is a case of what is right not being fully aligned with what is good. One of my questions is why are public schools responsible for raising children? As a teacher, I know that for many children it is far better to be in a pre-K classroom than wherever they might otherwise be, but I feel as a citizen that people who have children should be responsible primary care givers to said children. We all know that it's ultimately the kids who suffer without pre-K, but how do you make people responsible for their actions - having children that they can't/won't/don't raise? How do you fix the situations/circumstances that result in the need for government funded pre-K? Where does what is good converge with what is right?

Without knowing the name of the person in question, it has been difficult for me to locate facts concerning the following; however, it seems real enough and is a good example of another situation where what is right and what is good are at odds. Rumor has it that there was a doctor in Clarksdale who, just a few decades ago, was sterilizing poor women who came in with multiple pregnancies. He was sterilizing them without their knowledge or consent. I cringe at his violation of their bodies and their rights, but at the same time, I can identify with his motivation. Of course, even in the rumor version of this tale, the doctor ultimately lost his license.

Can you, in either of these cases, fully meld good and right, or draw a distinct line between the two? I can't, and I don't even pretend to know how.