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letters | putting our hopes in early education

Strapped government has to draw line on funding early education

The article about early-childhood programs in Massachusetts (“Freeze on state aid leaves parents longing, preschool seats empty,” Page A1, March 4) makes me wonder how these programs get funded and whether they actually work. I support such programs as long as they can be reasonably funded, since it can’t hurt to expose children to such organized activities. And at least the programs provide child care, albeit at a cost.

However, the idea that the federal government should fund such programs is a nonstarter. The United States borrows about 40 cents of every dollar spent. If this keeps up, we’ll have to put more money into repaying debt than to providing services.

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That leaves us with the state, which thankfully can’t print money and is required constitutionally to have a balanced budget. The only question here is how much of Governor Patrick’s proposed $34.8 billion budget can be allocated to this need. Perhaps it would be better if such services were organized by charities, as contributions are tax-deductible. I, for one, would welcome a follow-up article on funding alternatives. Governments can’t do everything.

Jim Williams


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