LFC report: Despite massive spending growth, child care did not lead to measurable improvements in educational outcomes

According to a new report from the Legislative Finance Committee “State child care assistance is not impacting education outcomes for kids.” The amount of money spent in New Mexico on early childhood care and “education” has exploded in recent years (starting under the Martinez Administration). See chart below from the LFC.

We are constantly told by the left that virtually any form of early childhood spending is a “surefire winner” for improving educational outcomes. Well, that has not happened according to the LFC. Increased academic performance is not the ONLY justification for early childhood spending, but the representation of such programs as a “cure all” for our education woes also seems to be dramatically oversold. Full report is linked above as well as a useful article from the Santa Fe New Mexican.   

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3 Replies to “LFC report: Despite massive spending growth, child care did not lead to measurable improvements in educational outcomes”

  1. Like everyone else, I like to say, “I told you so.” I did, on 2 October 2018, when, in my appraisal of the Grisham’s proposed education plan, I criticized her childhood education views:

    “Grisham supports the latest trend in education—early childhood education (ECE), or “Pre-K education”—with a hyperbolic, spurious claim: “We know that high-quality Pre-K education for three- and four-year-old children makes a measurable difference in cognitive and social development and long-term educational outcomes.” We have no such knowledge. The data are unreliable; any measurable benefit reflects short-term, not enduring, effects (i.e., “novelty effects”); and programs have not existed long enough to establish “long-term educational outcomes.” ECE is Headstart writ large, and Headstart has achieved only three things: no measurable educational benefit by high-school graduation, a reduced chance of a criminal record, and the creation of a large, expensive, and permanent constituency of teachers.”

  2. I have no idea if there is a scientific rational to this, but my observation has been that most people don’t remember much that happened before the age of 5. I think this is simply due to that fact that all our brain connections are not fully developed before that age. Whoever came up with age 5 to begin kindergarten got that age right for the majority of kids to begin education. The Headstart program has been around for many many years and I think that by now there should be enough information on early childhood education to determine if it has significant long term benefits that would justify the cost of it. We’d probably do just as well by having our kids watch an hour or two of educational TV each day.
    Why are we spending so much taxpayer money on childhood daycare? Aren’t parents supposed to be responsible for their kid’s care, food and clothing?

  3. It is typical of Democrat administration’s to push an agenda that does not have data to show performance. Then to keep throwing money on it when results are not being realized. This example radiates all around you in Ca., NY, NJ, Ct., Or, Wa, and NM

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