From: Joseph B. Shumway
Subject: HB 96
Date: Thu Feb 06 06:43:34 MST 2014
Dear Representative,

I am writing to express my concern over HB 96, which I understand will be reviewed in committee tomorrow. I have several concerns with this bill specifically, but also the general idea at large.

The government is already getting too involved in education as is and I see this bill as yet one additional way in which government could become even more involved. Early childhood education should be left to parents in the home and others that they feel are competent to involve. I think preschool can be fun for young children, but I do not believe that it does anything to place them further along in school--let alone in life. Yes, it may prepare some a little better for a year or two, but studies I have seen show that any effects of preschool ware off by the 2nd and 3rd grades. Plus, have we not already seen the complete waste of money that the Head Start program turned out to be?  ( If we would just focus on making our schools better in the first place, it would do far more wonders in helping children learn and improve than preschool ever can.

Since we already operate under a compulsory education system, we do not need to fund preschool programs based on the fact that we have not seen the long-term benefits of them. I know the bill is focused to underprivileged families, but I am concerned that if we start providing funding for one class of people, later it leads to have to increase the funding and to expand it to all. Furthermore, the idea of creating yet another board to oversee and regulate something is a mistake. This bill calls for that. Can we please stop finding jobs for more power-hungry people to fill? We have a state board of education. This is sufficient oversight for our education (even though they continue to turn deaf ears to the many of us who have voiced concern over Common Core) since parents and local officials should have the primary oversight anyway.

Another reason I am opposed to this bill is in regards to my concerns over the talks at the federal level about government programs for more early childhood education. I am very much opposed to the idea and I worry that little by little this could eventually lead to public school being expanded to require preschool-age children, and even younger, to be under the "care" of the government.

It is incumbent upon us as citizens of this state to do all we can to maintain our state's sovereignty, and to more importantly keep education in the home and controlled at the local level. I believe such bills as HB 96 only make it easier for possible (and perhaps likely) future federal programs to overreach into our state.

I therefore ask you to please oppose HB 96.

Thank you,

Joseph Shumway
Grantsville, UT