by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Lindsey Burke and Salim Furth write for the Heritage Foundation about new research questioning the value of large-scale preschool programs.
A growing body of empirical evidence suggests that universal preschool programs fail to improve a range of outcomes for participants. New studies of large-scale preschool programs in Quebec and Tennessee show that vastly expanding access to free or subsidized preschool may worsen behavioral and emotional outcomes. In the absence of compelling evidence that subsidized preschool provides an important public good, the subsidies should be reduced, not increased. Policymakers should recognize that expanding subsidies for preschool is unnecessary, provides no new benefits to low-income parents, and would create a new subsidy for middle-income and upper-income families, while adding to the tax burden for Americans. …
… As proponents of government preschool programs continue to appeal to findings from 50 years ago that have never been replicated, current, large-scale, rigorous evaluations of major programs at the federal level, in the states, and internationally make a strong case against such initiatives and deserve serious consideration from policymakers wont to further expand government intervention in the care of the youngest Americans.