Star political columnist Matt Tully seizes on the number of applications Indianapolis received for the taxpayer-subsidized preschool education initiative, which is more aptly described as a taxpayer-funded babysitting service, as evidence of the program's success. He bases the opinion he offers in his latest column
on a memo written by one of his favorite circle jerk buddies, Jason Kloth, who is Mayor Greg Ballard's deputy mayor for education, touting the number of applications the city received for free day care services. Hey, why wait until the first child has attended one day of class before declaring victory? After all, every objective study has demonstrated early childhood education for three and four year-old children has no demonstrable, long-term benefit on their education attainment.
Jason Kloth handed me a memo with the numbers — numbers making clear the wisdom of the city’s new investment in preschool.
“They are incredible,” Kloth, the Indianapolis deputy mayor for education, said. “This is a demonstration of the overwhelming demand for high-quality preschool in Indianapolis. And it is an affirmation of common sense.”
He was talking about the number of low-income families that signed up for the city’s new preschool scholarship program. More than 5,000 applications for scholarships arrived before the April 30 deadline. Almost all of them — 4,967 — qualified for the program, meaning they came from families with incomes of 185 percent or less of the federal poverty level. That’s the level that qualifies children for free-and-reduced school lunches, a general indicator of deep financial struggles.
So many applications came in that the city will have to hold a lottery next week to pick the roughly 1,300 children who will be granted a scholarship this year. Those who understand how critical a role preschool can play in a child’s life hope the number grows in the coming years. I know I do. But it’s a wonderful start.
“The bottom line,” Kloth said, “is that all families want what is best for their children, and what is in the best interests of their children is also in the best interests of our city’s economic and social well-being.”
The preschool push was a hard one, fought on ideological and sometimes silly partisan grounds but finally pushed through by leaders across the city’s nonprofit, government and private sectors. The city’s investment, boosted by local corporate dollars, has been guaranteed for only a year. But it’s hard to imagine politicians will fail to get the message from the numbers, particularly those council Democrats who turned their backs on their constituents and their party’s longstanding agenda simply because a Republican mayor proposed the preschool plan . . .
Because there is nobody at the Indianapolis Star who monitors the ethical misconduct of their personnel, I will continue to call out Tully for the obvious conflict of interest he has on this issue. Yes, Matt Tully is married to Valerie Tully. Yes, Valerie Tully is the chairman of the board of directors
for Early Learning Indiana, a nonprofit which operates day care centers in Indianapolis offering early childhood education and which will benefit from the tens of millions of dollars being plowed into an initiative that has absolutely nothing to do with the services the City of Indianapolis is statutorily required to perform as a municipal corporation. And yes, Valerie Tully is employed by Eli Lilly, the corporate giant which has led the lobbying effort to force taxpayers in not only Indianapolis but throughout the state of Indiana to provide early childhood education services to parents statewide. It is absolutely astonishing that a newspaper would allow a columnist to write one column after another pining on a behalf of a matter that benefits his spouse. There are legitimate reasons for opposing the expenditure of our city tax dollars that have nothing to do with "silly partisan grounds" you conjecture, Mr. Tully, if you would only shed the ethical blinders you are wearing.
Matt and Valerie Tully disgust me. Liberals will never admit it but they are the biggest proponents of corporatism and Wall Street types. And it matters not that this entire preschool "initiative" goes against what state and municipal governments can legally do.
Even more, liberals are so freakin' brain dead they do not even know how to gage success... to say that a program not even begun is a "success" because people signed up for the free service is proof positive liberals have no ability to criticlly think.
Tully = Baghdad Bob
Faux-gressives like Tully prefer hypocritical thought...
Greg, the funniest comment I have read in a very long time. Hopefully it is a sign that regime change is coming soon.
It is all about the Agenda 21, cradle to grave mentality of liberal persons & governments, intent upon Communist/socialist ideals. Just another inch, so they can take a mile with education !!!
Speaking of miles, very soon downtown Car-mel will not have any vehicular traffic, based upon the alleged "bicycle friendly" moniker. Face it, after this last Brainard election in Car-mel, mega-watt production will be a requirement for everyone. Obama's favorite environmental Mayor. What a joke, not a woods or field left in sight.
The poor children. In some cases the children are better off with this program due to who their parents are, in others I'm sure the violence-tinged neglect to be visited upon them mentaly and physically by other children or staff will increase their current miseries of being a poor kid foisted off into an all to eager meat grinder euphemistically called public education. I feel that in many ways public education, expecially inner-city variety, constitutes child abuse.
A "tax payer funded babysitting service" hits the nail on the head. Almost anyone will sign up for something for free no matter what it is.
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