For years, local, state, and federal governments and diverse
private sources have funded early intervention programs for
low-income children, and benefits to the children have been few and
fleeting. There is also evidence that middle-class children gain
little, if anything, from preschool. Benefits to children in public
preschools are unlikely to be greater or more enduring.
Public preschool for younger children is irresponsible, given
the failure of the public school system to educate the children
currently enrolled. The desire to “do something” for young children
should be tempered by the facts, and proposals for universal
preschool should be rejected.