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Capitol rally urges lawmakers to fund early education

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:12 p.m. HST, Apr 11, 2013

As the doors closed on the first meeting of state budget negotiations at the Hawaii State Capitol, attendees could hear advocates for state-funded preschool chanting, “Keiki first!” from three floors below.

Lawmakers met today to debate the budget in conference committee and were greeted by early childhood education advocates rallying for funds.

Although Gov. Neil Abercrombie says preschool is his top priority, the House didn’t fund the program in its budget draft.

The Senate budget set aside some money but less than what Abercrombie wants.

President Barack Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng spoke at the rally along with Abercrombie. She says funding preschool is an issue of equality and Hawaii should rise to the occasion.

Obama said in his State of the Union address this year that he supports universal preschool.

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nalogirl wrote:
This is just glorified babysitting. There is absolutly no proof that children do better in the future if they have preschool. SA even had an article on a national study that said the absentee rate is high because parents, if they don't feel like taking their kid to school, will just stay home. There was also another study that says children that don't go to preschool, that by the 3rd grade they are equal in learning as those that did go.If you have children, take care of them yourselves. It is not the job of the taxpayers to educate your 4 year old. I can just see the welfare families taking advantage of FREE babysitting besides all the other FREE stuff they get from our government.
on April 11,2013 | 01:21PM
Graham wrote:
BINGO...plus where will the babysitting money come from...plus free breakfast, lunch, afterrnoon snacks, etc., etc. etc....
on April 11,2013 | 01:27PM
allie wrote:
totally false. We need a strong early education platform to ensure school readiness. Low-income families have the most to gain. Your ideological studies come from anti-American Tea Party stooges. There is a ton of information that high quality pre-k works in spades.
on April 11,2013 | 01:31PM
nalogirl wrote:
You are way off. PARENTS need to make their children ready for school, not the taxpayer. Pre-K has no significant impact on how well a child will do later in life. Tea Party is not anti-American, they want to be represented by the government, not told what to do and how they want to spend our money. Get a grip allie, Hawaii is the most taxed state and the most generous to low-income families. This is nothing more than free babysitting.
on April 11,2013 | 01:53PM
8082062424 wrote:
the same family's who most do not work . and they keep having kids for bigger checks
on April 11,2013 | 02:40PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
What have I been saying? Very well funded, well connected and slick lobbying campaign to redirect public tax money into the wallets of a few insider private operators.

Paid babysitting. But it will enrich some folks who know how to play the game.

on April 11,2013 | 03:02PM
kauai wrote:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Fix the current education system before creating/adding yet another expense/division/program/etc. to an already underperforming system. Initiate a full and comprehensive audit of the state DOE and fix the problems first, then think about adding yet another layer to the system. Oh, and get the parents to support and pay attention to what their kids are doing in regards to homework, testing and report cards, and listen carefully to what the teachers say about their kids.
on April 11,2013 | 04:05PM
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