Opposition of Universal Preschool

Studies failed to demonstrate significant improvement in outcomes after Oklahoma and Georgia implemented universal preschool programs. Last year, the gains in reading scores of fourth graders in both states ranked among the bottom 10 on the National Assessment of Education Progress tests--the premier benchmark for comparing student performance across states. None of the 10 best performing states had universal preschool programs.

Critics have charged that the costs of universal preschool are often underestimated. One example cited is from an assessment of a universal day care program in Quebec which found the final price tag for Quebec's day care program to be 33 times what was originally projected. It had grown from a projected $230 million over five years, to annual costs of $1.7 billion. Much of this increase was attributed to higher operating costs, including large wage increases for day care workers (40 percent increase over four years).

Critics charge that long waiting lists result in disadvantaged children competing with higher income children for preschool access. In Quebec low-income households lost their child care tax deductions as they were discontinued in order to finance the universal preschool program. Yet with access to the universal preschools limited, the children of low-income households were underrepresented in the Quebec program, with half its day care spaces taken by families in the top 30 percent income bracket.

Some home schooling advocates have argued that children should be educated by their families and not by the government

Some political activists have argued that government should not provide such services, or that those services should remain privatized. Others opposed complain of the taxes imposed to fund such programs, or argue that tax revenues should be redirected to other programs

Some independent preschool providers have argued universal preschool programs pose an economic threat to private providers.

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