Federal Legislation
September 10, 2008

H.R. 3289—Providing Resources Early for Kids Act (Pre-K Act)

Action Requested:
No action is requested at this time. HSLDA will continue to monitor this bill and will send out an action e-lert if the bill comes up for a hearing.

Summary:
The Pre-K Act amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to award grants to states that “improve” state-funded preschool programs. H.R. 3289 expands the government’s role in education because in order to receive the federal funds, states must enact several provisions, including the following: requiring various levels of teacher certification/education, implementing state-approved curriculum, and fostering “learning environments” for children aged birth to three years.

This legislation is problematic because its programs constitute yet another intrusion of the federal government into the family sphere. State-approved curriculum can be tailored to fit a political agenda and may not respect many families’ religious beliefs and personal values. Although voluntary, there is no guarantee that parents will have any control over what information their child is exposed to or what services their child receives once they are enrolled in a program. Given the disturbing trend of big government acting as a nanny state, legislation frequently grows beyond its original scope as it is reviewed and amended by future legislatures; expanding pre-K programming sets a dangerous precedent for increased government involvement where it does not belong. Furthermore, institutional early education programs are costly and carried out at the expense of taxpayers. If enacted, H.R. 3289 is estimated to cost a whopping $500 million for each fiscal year through 2013.

HSLDA’s Position:
Oppose.

Introduced: 8/1/2007

Status:

8/1/2007Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
6/25/2008Committee consideration and mark-up session held; ordered to be reported (as amended).

Sponsor: Congressman Mazie K. Hirono (HI-2)

Cosponsors: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d110:1:./temp/~bdmMWb:@@@P|/bss/110search.html| (120)

Bill Summary and Status: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.r.03289:

 Other Resources

Smother Mother Strikes Again: Why Government Should Stay out of Pre-K