The policy analysis below was written by The Illinois Policy Institute.
PRE-SCHOOL FOR ALL FALLS SHORT
“Pre-School for All” Isn’t Just Expensive, It Doesn’t Work Either
(Springfield, Ill.) “Pre-school for All” is expensive, ineffectual and probably inappropriate. Yet, one wouldn’t have known it, listening to the Governor’s February 15 budget address. Early childhood education in Illinois should be expanded, the Governor dramatically announced.. It is proper, he declared, that state government undertake this enterprise. And he has asked the General Assembly to extend to all the state’s three-and-four year-olds access to the public education system, in the form of voluntary preschool.
Illinois would ‘lead the nation,’ in this effort. It would surpass even the expansive state-sponsored preschool programs already years underway in New York and Georgia. Illinois would be the first state, and Rod Blagojevich the first governor, to open its and his state’s doors of public schools to toddlers.
Illinois must welcome into the fold of government-education this responsibility, he said. Gone unmentioned though, was that early childhood education – especially in the form of preschool – has yet to have been proven to have the effects commonly presumed. One must trust that the governor’s office has consulted the wide and differing body of professional opinion in the matter, being as that they at least allude to “countless studies.” 
If this were the case, one must assume that the governor – in touting the benefits of his proposal – is not telling the whole truth. If the Governor, given his apparent passion for the issue, had undertaken to study the matter, he could not have helped but notice that Early Childhood Education is as contentious as any. “Countless,” his office has claimed, are the studies that have demonstrated the benefits of preschool. 
Equally numerous, though, are the claims that early formal education is ineffectual and that it can even be harmful to a child’s development. So insufficient is the evidence to support initiatives such as the governor’s, that "No authority in the field of child psychology, pediatrics, or child psychiatry
advocates formal education, in any domain, of infants and young children. In fact, the weight of solid professional opinion opposes it." 
To read the rest of the policy analysis go to The Illinois Policy Institute.
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