You can usually count on the Journal’s Winthrop Quigley to provide the left-leaning viewpoint when it comes to the New Mexico economy and education system. His recent “Upfront” column on the liberals’ desires to tap (raid) New Mexico’s permanent fund to support a variety of early childhood programs including pre k is no different.
Interestingly, while proponents of massive new taxpayer expenditures on early childhood learning love to claim that their programs are “proven effective,” the real-world reality is far different. For starters, there is the federal Head Start program which the government’s own accountability office found to have “no lasting impact by 1st grade.”
The effectiveness of real-world pre k programs at the state level is questionable at best as the charts below illustrate (Oklahoma and Georgia have two of the longest-running universal pre k programs.
And, as if all that is not enough, the US Chamber of Commerce just today released its “Leaders and Laggards” report. New Mexico’s overall performance was certainly poor, but its “return on investment” was graded “F.” It would seem that policymakers might want to get the current education system to something resembling effectiveness before spending hundreds-of-millions more annually.