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Hey, It’s Just Another $125 Million a Year From Taxpayers

The Virginian Pilot has two stories today on Democrat Gov. Tim Kaine’s plan to expand pre-kindergarten “education.” (one posted this morning and a second one posted later today). According to the newspaper:

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today will ask Virginians to support an unprecedented expansion of pre kindergarten education for low-income 4-year-olds, an initiative that could cost the state $75 million annually by 2012.

“The governor's plan calls for adding about 17,500 children to an existing pre kindergarten program, bringing the total number of youngsters receiving free services to 30,000 in five years, according to documents obtained by The Virginian-Pilot that outline the initiative.”

The costs are more, though, according to the newspaper:

Once the expansion is complete, Kaine estimates total pre-K costs to the state of $125 million a year. Kaine's plan does not offer free or subsidized services for middle- and upper-income families.

Not to worry though according to lobbyists for Virginia’s school boards and the teachers’ union, respectively:

Frank E. Barham, executive director of the Virginia School Boards Association, said the group supports expanding pre kindergarten, as long as it doesn't interfere with funding for kindergarten through 12th grade.

“He worried that giving state money to private child care providers may make parents agitate for vouchers. "You may be creating a situation where you're going to have to fund everybody, public and private," he said.

“Robley Jones, director of government relations for the Virginia Education Association, said the state should be able to afford the relatively small amount requested for prekindergarten, as well as public school needs.”

Don’t you just love how considerate some politicians and lobbyists are with taxpayers’ money? We say "some" since the Pilot's reporters sought out only Republican lawmakers for comment, and they "voiced concerns Thursday about the cost" of" of the "proposal to expand pre-kindergarten education." Reporters didn't seek comment from Democrat lawmakers.


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