January 7, 2001

Come to the Baby-Ed hearing Wednesday!

The legislature is in full swing with the early unveiling of the controversial and high dollar Baby-Ed proposal. Last week's first presentation of "The Action Plan for Early Care and Education in Minnesota" was delayed at the last minute until Wednesday, January 10th. We must have people present for this hearing.

The "Action Plan" was put together by a Commission of state bureaucrats, professional childcare providers and politicians. Its Honorary Chair is Lt. Gov. Mae Schunk and it is co-chaired by former Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser. The "Action Plan" is intended to work together with the Department of Children, Families and Learning's (CFL) new "Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress," (in pdf format) which makes it clear that "all stakeholders are individually and collectively accountable" for measurable outcomes. "Stakeholders" are defined as families, childcare providers and the "community."

Baby Ed is the "cradle" segment of the "cradle-to-grave" education system that we have been battling through the Profile of Learning, Minnesota's Goals 2000/School-to-Work system. Baby Ed would centralize the control, care and education of ALL children, birth through age 5 and merge it with the K-12 education system. It would centralize the control of parenting at the government level. Appointed "School Readiness Councils" would be established within each school district to oversee the proper parenting of every child, evaluating and judging each according to government standards and indicators of social, physical, personal and communicative development.

CFL has a brochure they publish which includes a large picture of a newborn baby cradled in someone's hands. In large letters, the words say it all: "Their minds are in our hands."

Baby Ed represents a massive new expansion of government intervention into the private lives and families of citizens at a proposed cost of to taxpayers of $1 billion per biennium, $2.5 billion for their five year plan. We will continue to send you more information about this proposal.

As is usually the case when a new, radical proposal is introduced, the major media outlets provide high profile editorials and columns timed to provide the most positive exposure to the public. We are seeing this with Baby-Ed. Most of the material put forward for the public is steeped in appealing language that every caring citizen would want to support. The reality of the proposals, however, are what matter and it is these that must be stopped.

The "Early Care and Education Commission" has stooped so low in their efforts to promote their radical plan as to use the good names of some ardent opponents of this plan in their publication without authorization in a way that suggests support of the plan. The Star Tribune itself has picked this up and restated in an editorial the support of some who in fact are unalterably opposed. Such is the deception that surrounds the coming of Baby Ed.

If you wonder how important it is for you to be at this hearing, remember how hard it is to reverse something once passed into law. It is far easier to stop this abuse of our parenting rights before our taxpayer money is taken to support it and  before   the infrastructure is in place.

Please come to the Baby Ed hearing if you are able to do so. We need a presence to counter the wholly one-sided presentation of this massive new government system.

Wednesday, January 10

Education Committee
Chair: Sen. Sandra Pappas
1 p.m. Room 123 Capitol Building
Agenda: Discussion of early education and childcare issues. Presentation to include "The Action Plan for Early Care and Education in Minnesota" and an overview of Minnesota's early child care and education programs. Participants include: Karen Carlson, assistant commissioner, Dept. of Children, Families and Learning; former Sen. Pat Piper, former chair of the Senate Family and Early Childhood Education Budget Division; Don Fraser, Minnesota Early Care and Education Finance Commission.

Note: The new Chair of the Senate Education Committee is Sen. Sandy Pappas who replaces Sen. Pogemiller. Sen. Pogemiller now chairs the powerful Tax Committee which will handle this massive new spending program.