Early Education Counts Op-Ed

By Marylou Beaver / For the Monitor
August 19th, 2011

Earlier this month, presidential candidate Rick Santorum made some provocative statements about how to get children ready for kindergarten. He criticized early education programs as an effort to “indoctrinate your children” and said, “It is a parent’s responsibility to educate their children. It is not the government’s job. We have sort of lost focus here a little bit. Of course, the government wants their hands on your children as fast as they can. That is why I opposed all these early starts and pre-early starts, and early-early starts. They want your children from the womb so they can indoctrinate your children as to what they want them to be. I am against that.”

Now, it is common for people running for president to take different points of view from what they might have believed in the past. This is certainly the case with Santorum. In 1991, his first year in Congress, he was one of only 30 Republican House members to vote for an amendment offered by liberal Rep. Patricia Schroeder of Colorado to increase funding for Head Start, the largest federal early childhood education and nutrition program for low-income children.

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