The state in charge of childhood – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The state in charge of childhood

Written July 15th, 2013 by

sealwith kidsUnder Governor Kitzhaber and the people in charge of the legislature, Oregon is setting up an elaborate but only vaguely defined government machinery to be in charge of bringing up children.

Over the objections of most Republicans in the House and Senate, the legislature approved House Bill 2013, which deepens the state’s involvement in family life, all in the interest of making every preschooler ready to learn. Programs affecting child care are established or expanded. Money is allocated, and jargon is thrown around. For example, there are “Early Learning Hub Demonstration projects.”

Kitzhaber is delighted. The bill, he said, “is a key element of our plan to create an accountable, integrated local system to better connect early learning with health care, child care and kindergarten readiness.” How can anyone be accountable for a program whose results, if any, can’t be known for a generation?

A summary of the legislation┬ásays the goal of the system includes “linking and integrating system programs and supports,” as well as “parental braces in providing a supportive environment for young children.” I have no idea what that means, but whatever it is, I have no doubt it will provide jobs for state officials to make and coordinate plans. (hh)

From Evelyn Currey, via Facebook: I don’t think the government has any business in telling people how to raise their kids.

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