Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Pre-k? Forget about it...

On Monday I experienced my first defeat on the floor of the House, but really it was the children of Idaho that lost out. Rep. Donna Pence and I tried our best to get our resolution, HCR18, through but it was opposed by the Keep Mom Home Coalition (KMHC). As you may recall, the KMHC first flexed its muscles when it said, "heck no" to mandating even limited requirements for Idaho childcare providers. Only in Idaho can you be a convicted sexual predator, meth addict, or just about anything else and still be permitted to get paid to watch someone else's children.

In regards to HCR18, it tried to do a few simple things. First, it would have had the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Department of Education work together to develop some standards for early childhood education. Second, it would have had DHW create a quality rating system for daycares so that parents would know what they were getting themselves into. Last, it would have tied the reimbursement rates for the Idaho Child Care Program (child care subsidy for low income families) to the programs with higher ratings. This one was a no brainer, just ask Idaho Statesman Editorial Board master Kevin Ritchert:

This isn't the last fight on this issue this legislative session, however. Yesterday the Senate narrowly passed another bill aimed at helping young children (S1079) by permitting school districts to offer services to 4 year olds, so long as no state resources were used in the process. Again, this bill looks pretty harmless, but that doesn't mean that KMHC won't do its darndest to fight against this bill.

I'll try to keep you all up-to-date as changes become available.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Valent Effort Mr. Durst... we appreciate what you are trying to do for Boise!