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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Pre-K Plan Not OK

Jeb and Co. are planning to trivialize a major pro-child initiative passed in 2002 that mandated free pre-kindergarten for Florida children.

Big surprise. When the initiative takes money out of the elite's pork-dealing hands and spends it on the needs of people and not special interests, then the elites always find a way to subvert it. The elites, which now happen to be mostly Republicans, prefer to dole out tax dollars to the people who got them in office, namely the rich special interests that represent big business.

Newspapers reported today that the GOP-led legislature has hammered out a deal with Jeb to fund three hours a day only of pre-K, and mostly in private day care centers run by people not required to have formal education training. In other words, three hours of free day care.

While better than nothing, the proposal is far short of what voters expected when they overwhelmingly passed the initiative two years ago. Other states have enacted model programs, but Jeb and Co. have elected to lower the bar.

It is easy to see why. If the voters require them to spend money on education, it takes away money they could use to build bridges and roads in areas where special interests want development and growth to occur. This is why Jeb hated the bullet train, which was an expensive project destined to draw money needed for pork projects. It is also the reason the legislature fooled the citizens into making it more difficult to get initiatives on the ballot – fewer initiatives, thanks to the constitutional amendment passed Nov. 2 making it more difficult to do, means fewer projects siphoning off their pork money.

Call your lawmakers and tell them to fund pre-K so that it is more than glorified day care.


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