BOISE — “The state needs to empower parents with options for pre school education,” conservative Republican Rep. Christie Perry said Aug. 26 at a City Club Northwest Nazarene University forum on early childhood education.
Perry, chair of the Idaho House Ways and Means Committee, said the biggest obstacle to state pre-school is the paragon shift needed to overcome the present culture where policy makers fail to look outside of their own experience, ignoring the needs of others. For those arguing that public funds need to go into infrastructure, our children are the roads and bridges of the future, the Republican legislator said.
Pre school tailored to local needs can enable children to comprehend math and reading when they enter third grade. Presently two thirds of Idaho’s children lack reading skills when they enter third grade.
Perry called state sponsored pre-school a “conservative investment for the future” and the state will save millions by paving the way for successful educational experiences that will lead to productive career options. Idaho is one of six state that lacks state pre schools, while Mississippi has devised a collaborative plan involving communities that provide state pre school.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton advocates for state pre school and Minnesota legislators would be well advised to seek the council of Rep. Perry as she charts the way to Idaho’s early education revolution for children.
Also on the program was Beth Oppenheimer, Idaho Association for Education of Young Children. Attending the forum in the Grove Hotel were Lt. Gov. Frank Little. U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, several Boise City Council members and Kathie Johnson, Head Start for South Idaho Migrant Workers’ Program.