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Queens Chronicle

Drop the pre-K plan

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Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

“Tax the rich. Tax the rich.” The mayor makes it sound like a punishment. We hear that his pre-K proposal is dead, but just in case he tries to resuscitate it, here are reasons not to. It’s not a money issue, but a behavior problem.

Most 4-year-olds are too immature to be separated from mommy or a familiar family member. On Court TV programs, there have been numerous cases where a parent sues a daycare school or personal care provider for negligence because the child fell down and sustained a bump to the forehead, wandered off or was pushed by an aggressive child, resulting in a bloody nose. The Department of Education would also be subject to lawsuits for similar incidents.

But let’s sort out responsibility. A parent is legally responsible for a child’s care from birth to age 18. The DOE is responsible for providing free education to those age 5 to 18. It should not be in the babysitting business — kindergarten is young enough.

There is a policy that I would like to see changed: school hours. Eight a.m. to 3 p.m. is hard on parents, children, teachers and custodians. It’s all early-morning rush hour. Better hours would be 9 am. to 4 p.m. Everyone would benefit.

Finally, a comment about the snowy February day when the mayor didn’t order schools closed because his crystal ball wasn’t working. He could have postponed that day to Monday, Feb. 17, a holiday, and figured out later a substitute day in spring or early summer in order to comply with the 180 days required.

Often, it’s better to be practical than political.

Millie Resnick
Rego Park

Welcome to the discussion.