Jump to content

LDS county commisioner cuts funding to Head Start program


LDSToronto

Recommended Posts

Frederick official's comment that a woman's place is in the home creates uproar

Here's an excerpt:

"The furor started when Smith sought to explain his vote to cut $2.3 million out of the county's Head Start program for nearly 300 toddlers in low-income families."

Smith, an active LDS, distributed "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" as his reason for voting against the 'Head Start' program.

As a priesthood holder and as a devout LDS, doesn't Smith have an obligation to care for the poor, not make their situation worse?

Discuss.

H.

Link to comment

As a priesthood holder and as a devout LDS, doesn't Smith have an obligation to care for the poor, not make their situation worse?

H.

talk about selectively following the Gospel. After the "roles" are spoken on, there is an exception given. Some families need both parents to work, and the Prophets know and acknowledge that.

Link to comment

If the money's not there, then it's not there. He can't just go out and shake the money tree in his back yard because the money's needed for something 'really important'.

However, I don't see anything in the Proclamation which suggests that headstart isn't worth fighting for. Does he think that only working mothers use the service? Does he think that there is never a legitimate reason for a family to need daycare or a mother to work outside of the home? Even the Proclamation acknowledges that exceptions always exist.

If he's cutting the program because he thinks God doesn't condone it, then that's just retarded. It's not his job to make sure that no mothers put their kids in daycare. He's not qualified to judge the families who use headstart in such a way so he shouldn't even try.

Link to comment

I taught Headstart many years ago and I fail to see how cutting a pre-school program in financially-strapped states makes the family's situation worse. HS isn't a welfare program, but a pre-school program whose intent was to give children in impoverished areas the same advantages kids had in more affluent areas. You do realize that some school districts are cutting out kindergarten due to financial problems.

I also don't think the Commissioner understands that Headstart isn't a child care facility, but an actual pre-school where learning takes place. We had to visit the homes of our kids and the mothers were home, not working. The problem, unless it's changed, was that poverty and ignorance prevented parents from giving their kids the stimulation that children from more affluent and educated homes get.

I personally think they would be better off teaching the parents skills to enrich their own children and encourage them to learn. Children who get such stimulation in HS still go back to homes where stimulation and education aren't always understood or appreciated. Some studies of long-term effects have shown the program to be ineffective, probably for those very reasons.

Link to comment

I taught Headstart many years ago and I fail to see how cutting a pre-school program in financially-strapped states makes the family's situation worse. HS isn't a welfare program, but a pre-school program whose intent was to give children in impoverished areas the same advantages kids had in more affluent areas. You do realize that some school districts are cutting out kindergarten due to financial problems.

Thanks for the clarification - I thought "Head Start" was like an all-day kindergarten.

I also don't think the Commissioner understands that Headstart isn't a child care facility, but an actual pre-school where learning takes place. We had to visit the homes of our kids and the mothers were home, not working. The problem, unless it's changed, was that poverty and ignorance prevented parents from giving their kids the stimulation that children from more affluent and educated homes get.

I agree that poverty is an issue that is not easily fixed, is multi-dimensional, and goes beyond giving single moms more time to work. The point, however, is that the commissioner used his LDS faith perspective on a woman's role to justify the cuts. That is what is causing the uproar.

H.

Link to comment

If he's cutting the program because he thinks God doesn't condone it, then that's just retarded. It's not his job to make sure that no mothers put their kids in daycare. He's not qualified to judge the families who use headstart in such a way so he shouldn't even try.

here here.

His actions do suggest that "God does not condone [Headstart]".

Link to comment

The point, however, is that the commissioner used his LDS faith perspective on a woman's role to justify the cuts. That is what is causing the uproar.

That was inappropriate, and more so because it gives an impression that the church itself is against such programs.

Link to comment

The problem, unless it's changed, was that poverty and ignorance prevented parents from giving their kids the stimulation that children from more affluent and educated homes get.

I wasn't getting how he was making the connection as well, since HS is about education improvement, not babysitting.

I personally think they would be better off teaching the parents skills to enrich their own children and encourage them to learn. Children who get such stimulation in HS still go back to homes where stimulation and education aren't always understood or appreciated. Some studies of long-term effects have shown the program to be ineffective, probably for those very reasons.

He would have been smarter and demonstrated a higher degree of education himself to have cited those studies, lol.

I agree that teaching the parents the skills would be most effective. Teaching one individual can have an impact on multiple children and grandchildren.

Link to comment

Frederick official's comment that a woman's place is in the home creates uproar

Here's an excerpt:

"The furor started when Smith sought to explain his vote to cut $2.3 million out of the county's Head Start program for nearly 300 toddlers in low-income families."

Smith, an active LDS, distributed "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" as his reason for voting against the 'Head Start' program.

As a priesthood holder and as a devout LDS, doesn't Smith have an obligation to care for the poor, not make their situation worse?

Discuss.

H.

Yes, and I am sure he donates a lot of time and money to helping the poor.

The Church does not support government welfare programs paid with tax dollars though. Such "forced" charity is not really charitable nor is usually effective at getting people out of tough times. State aid is usually only good at making people more dependent on the system instead of self reliant like we are counciled to be in the Church.

We are told to do everything we can to support ourselves, if we are having difficulty we look to our immediate family first, then our ward, then as a absolute last resort government programs.

Smith is taking care of the poor, he is against taking someone else's money against there will (this is called robbery in most cases) to take care of the poor.

Link to comment

Yes, and I am sure he donates a lot of time and money to helping the poor.

The Church does not support government welfare programs paid with tax dollars though. Such "forced" charity is not really charitable nor is usually effective at getting people out of tough times. State aid is usually only good at making people more dependent on the system instead of self reliant like we are counciled to be in the Church.

We are told to do everything we can to support ourselves, if we are having difficulty we look to our immediate family first, then our ward, then as a absolute last resort government programs.

Smith is taking care of the poor, he is against taking someone else's money against there will (this is called robbery in most cases) to take care of the poor.

Years ago when I was supporting my family by working at a convenience store, I became involved with headstart as a parent. This particular program was very effective at encouraging and getting parental involvement in the classroom. I participated often in the classroom along with other parents. One of the teachers was in a car accident halfway through the school year, and I was asked to fill in as an assistant teacher. I finished that year, and stayed on the following year. I was provided continuing education opportunities, and was encouraged to enroll in college courses. My experiences with headstart helped build my self-confidence, and started me on a path towards my eventual career. I continue to have very fond memories of my headstart days, and I'm grateful that I was afforded those opportunities. Headstart is not simply about early childhood education, but when run properly, serves as a means to involve parents with their child's learning, and in doing so teach parental and social skills. It is wrong to assume that programs such as these make people more dependent on the government. Often, they make real differences in lives.

cacheman

Link to comment

Yes, and I am sure he donates a lot of time and money to helping the poor.

The Church does not support government welfare programs paid with tax dollars though. Such "forced" charity is not really charitable nor is usually effective at getting people out of tough times. State aid is usually only good at making people more dependent on the system instead of self reliant like we are counciled to be in the Church.

We are told to do everything we can to support ourselves, if we are having difficulty we look to our immediate family first, then our ward, then as a absolute last resort government programs.

Smith is taking care of the poor, he is against taking someone else's money against there will (this is called robbery in most cases) to take care of the poor.

Could you please provide some references for these statements. I'd love to look at them.

Thanks.

Link to comment

Years ago when I was supporting my family by working at a convenience store, I became involved with headstart as a parent. This particular program was very effective at encouraging and getting parental involvement in the classroom. I participated often in the classroom along with other parents. One of the teachers was in a car accident halfway through the school year, and I was asked to fill in as an assistant teacher. I finished that year, and stayed on the following year. I was provided continuing education opportunities, and was encouraged to enroll in college courses. My experiences with headstart helped build my self-confidence, and started me on a path towards my eventual career. I continue to have very fond memories of my headstart days, and I'm grateful that I was afforded those opportunities. Headstart is not simply about early childhood education, but when run properly, serves as a means to involve parents with their child's learning, and in doing so teach parental and social skills. It is wrong to assume that programs such as these make people more dependent on the government. Often, they make real differences in lives.

cacheman

I am not for or against head start, I have never used the program or been part of it so I would be a fool to make any statement about it. I am talking about using tax dollars to fund social programs, which includes head start.

Link to comment

Years ago when I was supporting my family by working at a convenience store, I became involved with headstart as a parent. This particular program was very effective at encouraging and getting parental involvement in the classroom. I participated often in the classroom along with other parents. One of the teachers was in a car accident halfway through the school year, and I was asked to fill in as an assistant teacher. I finished that year, and stayed on the following year. I was provided continuing education opportunities, and was encouraged to enroll in college courses. My experiences with headstart helped build my self-confidence, and started me on a path towards my eventual career. I continue to have very fond memories of my headstart days, and I'm grateful that I was afforded those opportunities. Headstart is not simply about early childhood education, but when run properly, serves as a means to involve parents with their child's learning, and in doing so teach parental and social skills. It is wrong to assume that programs such as these make people more dependent on the government. Often, they make real differences in lives.

cacheman

It seems like the people who have a negative image of HS, don't actually have any real experience with it.

I've known numerous LDS parents who have sent their children there. Though I don't have any personal experience with it myself, i've only ever heard good things.

Link to comment

Could you please provide some references for these statements. I'd love to look at them.

Thanks.

lds.org is a great resource to start with. I will look for you and see what I can find!

Added by Edit:

http://lds.org/liaho...y=self+reliance

This is a talk by President Romney in 1984 he discusses several times in the article that state welfare is bad and should be avoided even if we qualify for it.

Link to comment

I am not for or against head start, I have never used the program or been part of it so I would be a fool to make any statement about it. I am talking about using tax dollars to fund social programs, which includes head start.

You are against using tax dollars to fund social programs?!? What else would you use those tax dollars for?

H.

Link to comment

To me it isn't an LDS issue. The majority of adult sisters in the US work. I believe it is around 56%, though I could be wrong. There are many reasons to fund or de fund a program, the largest being money, or perhaps priorities elsewhere. If the elected commissioner feels he is following the will of his constituency (I believe he is elected) then he is carrying out what he was elected to do.

The question is really whether or not its a good idea, and whether or not being a member of the church somehow creates this idea.

I think

1- It isn't necessarily a good idea, but one would have to know the finances of the county. Also it appears the mothers considered it daycare from their standpoint (as did the author) versus additional education for the poor.

2- The church is very carefule about how it approaches the needs of working mothers and has made great effort to show that working mothers are not less righteous and worthy of praise than others. It would appear that members of the panel who are LDS had forgotten that, and the non LDS on the board should have given the idea of working single mothers and their needs more thought.

I do not see it as directly church related beyond the commissioner giving a statement that appears to be reflected by other non LDS board members.

Link to comment

You are against using tax dollars to fund social programs?!? What else would you use those tax dollars for?

H.

I am sure in some parts of Canada that the social cultural aspects are all centered around the idea that the government can and must do everything. It is part of the cultural mindset in those sections of Canada (I know Canadians who feel the government is both overly intrusive and wastefule and that people can do just as well with less government).

In the US there is more of a position (something adopted since the American Revolution) where large governments that are powerful are also dangerous. Many US citizens in feel the government serves itself before it serves its people. Our nation was founded on a government that had only rights specifically given to it by the Constitution and all other rights were held by states and indivuals (9th and 10th amendment). We call it Federalism. The US federal government has gotten stronger, but that does not mean many dislike and distrust the government.

People could point to welfare programs that have increased the number of children and parents on welfare while not alleviating poverty. Things like that color the US view of government programs.

Link to comment

2- The church is very carefule about how it approaches the needs of working mothers and has made great effort to show that working mothers are not less righteous and worthy of praise than others. It would appear that members of the panel who are LDS had forgotten that, and the non LDS on the board should have given the idea of working single mothers and their needs more thought.

I agree with your comments about the panel. With respect to how the church approaches working women, I've noticed that they word their comments more carefully, but still maintain a stance regarding women being the nurturer. As recent as 2010, L. Tom Perry said the following:

"Fathers most often spend much of their day away from home in their employment. That is one of the many reasons so much of the responsibility for teaching the child in the home falls on mothers. While circumstances do vary and the ideal isn

Link to comment
As a priesthood holder and as a devout LDS, doesn't Smith have an obligation to care for the poor, not make their situation worse?

No. He has no Gospel obligation or right whatsoever to spend other people's money on the poor. And I say this having had my first two children in Head Start myself when we were young.

Frankly, the best scenario is the privatization (notice I didn't say private) of schools. Most parents themselves can obviate the perceived need for Head Start by being in the home, following the Proclaimation on the Family, etc.

Link to comment

I agree with your comments about the panel. With respect to how the church approaches working women, I've noticed that they word their comments more carefully, but still maintain a stance regarding women being the nurturer. As recent as 2010, L. Tom Perry said the following:

"Fathers most often spend much of their day away from home in their employment. That is one of the many reasons so much of the responsibility for teaching the child in the home falls on mothers. While circumstances do vary and the ideal isn

Link to comment

then as a absolute last resort government programs.

This is not so. It depends on the program (which depends a great deal on location). When we lived in Canada, due to the tax situation it was often the first suggestion to apply to the government programs (since one likely had contributed to them in the past).

Here is a link to the online CHI pages on welfare: https://lds.org/hand...ip?lang=eng#6.1

There is nothing indicating that government assistance should only be of "last resort". It even suggests there are times when leaders should help members find and apply for such programs.

WIC and the Food Stamp program as well as many other family and health supportive government programs are well used in Utah from what I've seen. The Church discourages duplication of existing efforts (CHI Volume 1 makes this crystal clear) while at the same time encouraging church leaders to help ensure that such dependency is not permanent.

Link to comment

I wasn't getting how he was making the connection as well, since HS is about education improvement, not babysitting.He would have been smarter and demonstrated a higher degree of education himself to have cited those studies, lol.

I agree that teaching the parents the skills would be most effective. Teaching one individual can have an impact on multiple children and grandchildren.

When I was with headstart in the mid 90's, parental education and involvement was a key component of the program. In fact the sustained parent-child educational relationship was one of the benefits demonstrated in the study that is often cited as showing the in-effectiveness of headstart. That particular study is often brought up due to the fact that data showed that educational and social gains made by headstart students largely disappeared by the end of 1st grade (ie. their non-headstart cohorts caught up on most of the measurements). I'm not sure why that is an indictment on headstart since there was a clear advantage for headstart students at the beginning of kindergarten. The vanishing gains appear to say more about the ineffectiveness of the K-1 public educational system in maintaining direct parental involvement in their child's education, and keeping the educational momentum going for these students. Furthermore, there are a number of other studies showing other longterm benefits correlated with headstart, including higher graduation rates, lower substance abuse, decreased criminal activity, etc.

While I understand that there is a legitimate debate on the effectiveness of tax funded social programs, I believe that this particular program provides a significant return on investment for the taxpayers. It's disappointing to me that folks such as described in the posted article view this program as a free babysitting service. I agree with you that his attempt to connect the 'mothers in the home' statement with rationale to cut headstart doesn't make much sense.

cacheman

Link to comment

Could you please provide some references for these statements. I'd love to look at them.

Thanks.

The CHI has sections specifically dealing with welfare and humanitarian programs. I'd check with what is available online at lds.org and then if still interested ask your bishop or one of his counselors to read the Book 1 section (my husband has a copy so I've been able to read the new version, my old bishop was kind enough to let me read the former one....due to having this type of discussion---what role government assistance should play in helping church members---before.)
Link to comment

When I was with headstart in the mid 90's, parental education and involvement was a key component of the program..... The vanishing gains appear to say more about the ineffectiveness of the K-1 public educational system in maintaining direct parental involvement in their child's education, and keeping the educational momentum going for these students.

Not having to work allowed me to volunteer to a great extent at my kids' schools, including several that had high immigration populations. It was obvious that those students who did the best were the ones that had high parental involvement, so much so that part of the effort to help students to do better was focused on getting parents involved (by reading to kids or having kids read to them and other programs). This was apparently true even in the private sector where the kids came from higher income brackets with generally well educated parents all around according to some friends who taught there (and parents who are 'involved' by complaining to teachers about what they were doing wrong do not count).
Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...