The best thing about politicians is that they never run out of ways to spend our money


Camillo tackles pre-k in search of his first diploma

Camillo tackles pre-k in search of his first diploma

Hartford wants to make taxpayers cough up $200 million for pre-K programs. For those of you who can do math as the result of attending Head Start, since Greenwich pays 10% of the state’s budget, that’ll be another $20 million from us, not that we’ll see the money.

Nor will we see the results; for all that pre-kindergarten programs would seem a logical way to get children headed toward learning,  no studies support that conclusion and in fact, those studies that have looked at it have found zero results. Here’s what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported after an extensive study of Head Start:

There is no measurable advantage to children in elementary school of having participated in Head Start.  Further, children attending Head Start remain far behind academically once they are in elementary school.  Head Start does not improve the school readiness of children from low-income families.

All of this is just another liberal do-good, feel-good program that accomplishes nothing except provide a source of patronage baby sitting jobs for inner-city mothers. And, like all such programs, after spending billions without result, no one reexamines the underlying hypothesis that justified the original spending – they just double down, like the crazed gamblers they are. Unfortunately, these people are playing with house money -our houses, our money.

Here are two responses from Greenwich officials – can you guess which is the professional bureaucrat and which is the Republican representative supposedly charged with protecting us from the Hartford predators? Neither can I.

“Connecticut’s elected leaders are to be applauded for increasing support for preschool education,” said Superintendent of Schools William McKersie. “While it is not yet clear how the initiative will directly affect Greenwich, all of us should be pleased that the state is getting behind an essential ingredient for academic success.”

Greenwich state Rep. Fred Camillo, R-151, a former high-school teacher, also expressed support for universal preschool.

“If you look at some of the statistics, if you don’t get kids early, and they start to drift and don’t have a good family background, what’s going to happen is it’s going to cost you later on,” he said. “I believe it’s needed; it’s just got to be done right.”



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27 responses to “The best thing about politicians is that they never run out of ways to spend our money

  1. Seriously.. CT is becoming a NY wanna be. Every policy they put forth seems to trickle down here and none of them seem great.

  2. Inagua

    It is nothing but day care. Free to the user, but it costs the rest of us about $10 an hour to warehouse these kids for several hours a day.

    • hmmm

      Note the operative phrase in Camillo’s response: “…family background…”

      Has all to do with inner city…daycare indeed

  3. anon

    I wonder if free pre-k will have any effect on the number of applicants at both chuch-based or private school programs that are quite costly. Why pay if you can have it free?

  4. anon

    I think many Greenwich parents who are the backbone of our own tax base send their children to Pre-K. Granted, they pay for it themselves. But clearly they seem some value there.

    • .....anonymous

      Much of the pre-k registration is less about value and more about assuring a spot in that school come kindergarten. Once the first child is in, the sibs have it made in the shade.

  5. Anonymous

    This has nothing to do with the kids and everything to do with beating the republicans to another issue so the dems can talk about pre k and min wage and not talk about how weak the state’s recovery has been. We have only recovered 65% of the jobs lost since 2007 while the nationL figure is 100% recovery. We trail most every state and region.

  6. LAK

    There are pre-k classes already in Norwalk elementary schools.

    3 yr olds are 9:20 to 11:20
    4 yr olds are 1:00 to 3:00

    $200 per month. By lottery only.
    In district or out doesnt matter. They put you where they want. Some kids get free bussing!

    It was nice years ago, but now it has lots of kids with behaviorial problems, kids that dont speak english. NEON didnt help any of this.

  7. Greenwich voter

    I applaud Camillo!

  8. Anonymous

    Every child should have the opportunity to attend pre K.
    Good for Rep. Camillo.

    • Well then you should be happy, because you’ll be paying for other peoples’ children to have that “opportunity”. And it achieves nothing.

      • LAK

        This universal pre-k that we’ll be paying for will be free babysitting services. Free transportation too? Free lunch too. Part time or full time?

        Will parents be asked or required to volunteer a few hours of their time during the school year since this is free to them? Would be nice!

        Ask teachers & aides where I am how different it is now vs. 7 yrs ago.

        I’m glad I was able to put my girls in private preschool.

  9. Mickster

    If we were to be honest with ourselves we would admit that the American educational system is the biggest fraud perpetuated on its people. As someone who has spent a small fortune to educate a couple of brats in the best of the best colleges I have a little experience in the matter. As someone who spends hours every day (my part-time gig) reviewing resumes and conducting phone interviews with graduates of local colleges it is frightening and depressing to talk to third-level graduates who are barely literate looking for work and starting their lives in debt. Student debt I believe is now greater than credit card debt. Given like candy by the banks and guaranteed by the government.its the beginning of indenture for most people.
    Head Start as CF quoted is an unmitigated disaster. The only problem is That there is no alternative aside from home-schooling. My kids were almost 6 before they went to schools they weren’t homeschooled but hit he ground running when they finally were dragged off to school.
    The current model is archaic and useless to the needs of the majority.
    And now with pressure from parents to stop grading tests it’s going to become nonsense.
    Dumb and dumber.

  10. Anon

    Greenwich pays 14% according to this article:,0,1365526.htmlpage

    According to this article Hartford taxpayers fund $94m of the city’s $425m budget. Assuming the state funds the rest, greenwich taxpayers pay $45m of the difference (14% of $330m),0,1934869.story

  11. Anonymous

    I agree with Anonymous at 8:23…..this is all about Malloy and the Dems changing the theme of the future campaign… is never about the kids. Don’t you know, all those preschool teachers are going to be mandated to be UNION personnel adding to the Dems coffers.

    If Camillo actually had a job once in his life or had to meet a payroll he would understand. Camillo is like Tesei… long public servants who have never had to meet a payroll and are Republicans only because its the popular party to be in Greenwich.

  12. Chief Scrotum

    Two thoughts-

    1. The “conforming behavior” comments and pre-K government schools are simply re-inventing what the Soviets did in the 50s and 60s. Next step is to be told your child is talented in X and will be ‘allowed’ to pursue their ‘gifts’ – no need to waste time learning skills they’ll never use, like critical thinking.

    2. All of your comments are a bit hollow as none of you put your campaign dough behind any candidate (or run yourselves) to stop these activities. Put some skin in the game – its tough to imagine even the most hardened politico not sitting up and listening if a group of folks had a few hundred G’s on the table to oppose candidates they didn’t like. Probably cheaper than funding all these Hartford programs too.

    • towny

      Take it easy Chief. If this blog wasn’t written (and commented on) by self aggrandized whiners, it would be no fun to read.

  13. Rivman

    It is basically daycare.

  14. Anonymous

    Peter Principle at work….Sebelius considering a run for Senate seat…..gross incompetence never stopped a politician….

  15. Fred2

    Here’s the thing, like many of these programs, it starts small, with a carefully selected group of ( in this case, ) kids.

    It’s a resounding success. Not schockingly, as anyone who was not superlatiively qualified to take advantage of the program wasn’t asked to join the pilot, the the people the running the pilot are top notch too.

    Activists sieze on the idea as way to help “everyone” in that demographic and the program is expanded at great cost and no measurable results because now you are “returning to average” both by the people running it and the kids.

    It hangs on for decades because the optics of killing off such a program and so demogogically nasty.