The Republic Masthead

Letter: No need for county to have pre-K option


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From: Larry l. Jackson

Columbus

Received: Jan. 4

Everyone, and I mean everyone, knew that the recent referendum vote went far beyond the question of a property tax increase. It was BCSC seeking validation of their pre-K program. How else can you explain a well-financed propaganda machine called “Pre-K 4 All” with numerous yard signs, radio spots, newspaper ads, a letter to the editor campaign and poll workers on Election Day. There were even reports of an employer sending letters to their employees.

Is there any doubt that the “Pre-K 4 All” group would have had a full-page ad in the Republic the day after the election thanking the voters for their overwhelming endorsement of the BCSC pre-K program had they won the referendum?

When you start rounding up the communities of 4-year-olds and keeping them 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, it is no longer education; it is daycare/social engineering. That is not the reason we have a public school system. K-through-12 education is enough for any public school system to have as their mission. BCSC needs to know their business and do it well.

How long is the BCSC board and administration going to drag out the public pre-K question? What part of no do they not understand? It appears they were so “let’s measure the windows for new curtains” confident of winning they still cannot or will not accept the results. They must be asking, how could the voters be so wrong? Apparently, wrong is what the losers call the winners.

Rather than accepting the referendum results and discontinuing their pre-K program, BCSC is now going to raid the private programs of their full-paying families as well as Title I funding. Was that their intent all along? Isn’t BCSC supposed to have a bullying policy? So much for the sterling BCSC cooperation we have often been told about. It appears that BCSC is going to reverse the referendum results and turn the winners into losers. That is a very dangerous precedent.

How can the BCSC board claim to be good stewards of the public’s best interest and trust when they so blatantly ignore the results of a referendum vote?

Our democratic process is both precious and fragile, the cornerstone of the American experience and should be respected and honored by all. When a handful of people in positions of authority can so easily manipulate the results of a legitimate referendum vote and thwart the will of the people, then everyone is a loser.

We have more than enough private programs in Columbus providing excellent pre-K education opportunities in addition to the publicly funded Head Start program. Starting a pre-K program at BCSC was a huge and costly mistake. It is an example of expansion just for the sake of expansion without merit or justification. It is past time for the BCSC board and administration to do the right thing, acknowledge the referendum results and end the BCSC pre-K program.

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