Strong majority against public preschool option for four year olds - 104 participants, 538 responses

Apr 18, 2016

New Hampshire does not currently offer public funding for preschool except for children with special needs requiring early educational intervention. Individual towns, then, decide whether to offer a public preschool option. While some towns offer fully-funded public preschool, others may fully fund tuition for low-income families or those with special needs and offer a partially subsidized tuition rate to other families. On March 2, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Would you be in favor of a public preschool option for four year olds in your town?”

“Would you be in favor of a public preschool option for four year olds in your town?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 93% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 7% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 538 responses from 104 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: The majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 72%, opposed a public preschool option for four year olds.

  • “Currently, the state and many municipalities can barely handle adequate fulfillment of education and IEP/504 services for students K-12.”
  • “Having no children of my own, I receive little direct, and not much indirect, benefit from my property tax bill. Working-class property owners have a hard enough time as it is. Don't make things harder for us.”
  • “We can't raise taxes and start a new program for every other thing that is supposed to be good for children. There are a million and one things that are good for children, but we'll bankrupt ourselves if we continually expand the state to provide them.”

Yes: A minority, at 28% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of a public preschool option for four year olds.

  • "Education should be available to all, whether they can pay or not. An educated citizenry and workforce is a benefit to all. I never had children, but I never complain about paying school taxes.”
  • “Studies constantly and consistently show the benefits for the individuals and society from these programs.”
  • “Yes, because it is the right thing to do—helping to educate our youngest generation while their parents work. It takes a village.”    

Other: As noted above, 7% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Discussing alternatives to pre-school: “Here is a solution. Parents need to shut the TV off and teach their children to read and write and simple math.
  • Debating the efficacy of preschool: “Most learn more watching Sesame Street.”
  • Expressing concern at how programs are funded in NH: “Nothing is free. Everything must be paid for by the taxpayers. Shrinking the base of taxpayers by over-taxation leads to less income for the State or towns—not more income.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question.

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report.

Would you be in favor of a public preschool option for four year olds in your town?” Leave a comment and have your say!

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