Jillian Balow and Obama’s Preschool for All: What You Need to Know

Two peas in a pod.

*** Update: according to an  August 14, 2014 article in the Casper Star Tribune the winner of the republican primary race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow participated in writing both HB26 and HB81, as well as the budget footnote that was snuck in after both bills were killed and failed introduction.  

“Responding to a question about what she would do about early childhood education in Wyoming, Balow…said:

“As an administrator in the Department of Family Services, I led efforts in the state of Wyoming to coordinate and streamline efforts in early education among state agencies.

That led to legislation that was passed this last session to set up a grant program for Wyoming communities to plan, develop or enhance local efforts.”

Balow worked with the Joint Education Interim Committee to craft two bills that would have provided $1 million to the Department of Education over the next three years to help local early childhood programs continue or expand.

Both bills failed, but the Legislature funded the program through a footnote to the budget with slightly less money…

Instead of $1 million, the Legislature appropriated $665,000 for the grant program. Instead of funneling the money through the state Department of Education, the funds went to the Department of Family Services.

The first grants should be ready to be awarded during the 2014-15 school year, according to the footnote.”


***UPDATE 2/12/14 12:00 p.m. : Because of  YOUR e-mails, HB26 did not receive the 2/3 vote required to be introduced. Let’s do the same thing with HB81! You can see who vote for and against HB26 here***

“The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.” -Karl Marx

Many of you know that we are in the forefront in the fight to Stop Common Core in Wyoming, but Wyoming Freedom in Education is also fighting for the educational rights for our children and their parents. There are 2 bills that are of grave concern to us, HB0026 and HB0081. These bills vastly increase state government and agency control, and from what we can tell from a letter from the White House about President Obama’s Preschool for All, federal control, over early childhood education programs. 

 “Give me 4 years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown, will never be uprooted” -Vladimir Lenin

This is a giant step toward lowering the compulsory school attendance age, and will only increases the government’s involvement in the early education years of our children. This infringes upon parental rights and freedoms to make the best possible educational decision for their children. Not only that, but research has shown that early childhood education has no bearing on over-all academic performance in later years.

We can only stop this with your help! Contact your legislators today! Time is of the essence, it will be decided whether or not these bills will be introduced on February 11, 2014. You must act now!  

 There are many frightening things in this bill, but found on page 5 on HB0026 is something that should raise a GIANT red flag:

The director, in consultation with the department of education, department of family services, department of health, department of workforce services and the Wyoming early childhood state advisory council, and subject to the purposes, expenditure criteria, evaluation, accountability and reporting requirements established pursuant to section 2 of this act, shall expend the amount appropriated by subsection (a) of this section together with any funds received from private sources

And again on page 8 of HB0026:

Program grants shall be available under this section for supplementing not supplanting amounts available locally and otherwise subject to the purposes, expenditure criteria, evaluation, accountability and reporting requirements established by the director pursuant to section 2 of this act in consultation with the department of education, department of family services, department of health, department of workforce services and the Wyoming early childhood state advisory council

You read that right, the Department of Workforce Services will be involved in early childhood education, it seems the Joint Education Committee feels  that we have to make sure preschoolers are college and career ready. Does that sound familiar? It should because the Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council came about as an initiative by none other than the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, the “co-authors” of the College and Career Readiness Standards aka the Common Core State Standards. 

Contact your legislators and tell them to oppose HB0026 and HB0081

The Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council was enacted by Executive Order 2010-2, the same year the Common Core Standards have for a copyright date.  On October 27, 2010, the the NGA Center of Best Practices posted:

six policy strategies governors can use to build and nurture a comprehensive, high-quality early childhood system including:

  • Coordinate early childhood governance through a state early childhood advisory council (ECAC);

  • Build an integrated professional development system;

  • Implement a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS);

  • Develop a longitudinal and coordinated early childhood data system;

  • Align comprehensive early learning guidelines and standards for children from birth to age 8 with K–3 content standards; and

  • Integrate federal, state and private funding sources.

And May 10, 2012, the  NGA Center for Best Practices,  wrote:

The NGA Center hosted a Policy Institute focused on how governors’ advisors and early childhood advisory councils can work together to develop and implement a robust and research-based birth-grade 3 policy agenda.  Teams from 37 states and territories learned best practices in state policies to promote the quality and continuity of early learning experiences from birth to grade 3.  Participants also discussed the role of governors and their education advisors in developing B[irth]-3rd grade policy agendas, how to increase the effectiveness of their governor-appointed advisory councils, and the implications of state adoption of Common Core State Standards on state early learning policies. 

This legislative session is a budget session, which means a bill has to be voted on before it can be introduced. You can defeat these bills by contacting your legislators and asking them to oppose the introduction of HB0026 and HB0081.

Be sure to let your legislators know that you do not want the state’s involvement in early childhood education to expand, and you do not want your tax dollars wasted on unnecessary, unproven and ineffective programs. Please also express your concerns with ties to any federal grant money, and any requirements that may come with it.

“The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.” -Carl Marx

“Give me 4 years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown, will never be uprooted” -Vladimir Lenin