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Gov. Dayton’s relentless pursuit of our small children, and union revenues: Will the GOP hold the line?

Gov. Dayton is not giving up. He wants every pre-school age child in the public schools before he leaves office. It has been a top priority since he took office.

According to MPR:

Gov. Mark Dayton wants lawmakers to make the funds permanent this year using part of Minnesota’s $329 million budget surplus. Dayton has also proposed increasing the funds by five percent per year.

Why is his administration so insistent?

If Dayton succeeds, he shifts the culture even closer to the socialist ideal of shaping little hearts and minds with the state’s approved education, re-orients our family schedules and budgets to dependency on the state for child care, and the big bonus? It produces thousands of new public employees who will, at least under current law, be forced to pay union dues to get and keep the job.

Let’s do the math: 3,000 new “teachers” paying say, $600 year in dues provides another $1.8 million for the Governor’s party to spend on getting themselves elected, and defeating ideas like school choice and vouchers.

And he knows that once Pre-K is offered at some school districts (as it is now), he has created the momentum for it to be offered all over the state, as a matter of course. Just like all-day Kindergarten just a few years ago.

Last year, Rep. Jenifer Loon who head up education in the House, steered the program in a new direction, away from Universal Pre-K and a more flexible approach so that this is offered for “at-risk’ kids:

The $50 million sum approved at the end of last legislative session allowed 59 school districts and charter schools around the state to expand free preschool offerings. State officials estimated the funds will pay for 4,000 children per year to attend the classes.

The $50 million was one-time money. Here is Loon in MPR today:

Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, said the funding decision should wait until next year, when lawmakers craft a new two-year state budget.

“This happens with a lot of programs, they’re funded for a budget period, and then the Legislature has the opportunity to review and decide if they want to continue in that same way in the next budget or not,” Loon said.

Loon added that she also wants to examine the results of a legislative audit of early childhood programs that’s due out this month.

The House and Senate leadership, in that flurry at the end of session, may be tempted to cut a deal with Governor Dayton.

Let’s hope that Rep. Loon  and her counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Carla Nelson, can hold the line. How can you help them do that?

Here is the MPR article. 









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