New Poll: Parents, Not Taxpayers, Should Pay for Preschool


President Obama has proposed expanding government preschool programs, however according to the latest Reason-Rupe poll, only 37 percent of Americans favor raising taxes to create a universal preschool system, while 61 percent oppose. When asked who should be "primarily responsible" for paying for preschool, 57 percent of Americans think parents should pay and 32 percent want the government to be responsible for paying.

Not surprisingly Republicans overwhelmingly (80 percent) oppose a proposal to raise taxes to create universal preschool, 60 percent of Independents agree, and Democrats are evenly divided at roughly 48 percent. Similar shares of each political group hold parents primarily responsible for providing preschool for their children.

Underlying assumptions about who should be primarily responsible for preschool predicts support for the proposal to raise taxes to establish universal preschool. Seventy-eight percent of Americans who think parents should be primarily responsible for preschool oppose the government-run universal preschool proposal. In contrast, 65 percent of those who say government should be primarily responsible support the universal preschool proposal.

While most Americans say parents should be primarily responsible for paying for preschool, a majority of liberals, college-aged Americans, and a plurality of non-white women, and unmarried women say government should be primarily responsible. Similarly, a majority of these groups, and partisan Democrats, favors the proposal to raise taxes to fund universal pre-school.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted May 9-13 2013 interviewed 1003 adults on both mobile (503) and landline (500) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results found here. Full methodology can be found hereDemographics and detailed tables are available here.


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  1. At that age its just babysitting. I bet the polls would show even less support if they called it universal babysitting.

    1. That’s exactly what it is. Just more “free” shit.

    2. No kidding. You find a bunch of games and activities to keep the kids busy, give them a nap after lunch, and that’s really all there is to it.

      There isn’t anything “taught” to me in preschool that I didn’t already know, thanks to my family. Obama’s proposal is just a sop to his supporters that want other people to subsidize their responsibilities.

      1. Plus if you call it pre-school then you need to pay money to the teachers unions and education establishment.

    3. Don’t kid yourself, k-12 education is really just free babysitting, too.

      1. I’d say about half. At least in a decent school system. There is some education going on. But no reason kids need to be imprisoned in the school building for so much time.

  2. People getting dumber


    1. And the Huffington Post has a lot to do with dragging down the average.

    2. Not like this should be any surprise–as a society becomes more technologically advanced and culturally decadent, birth rates tend to drop and collective intelligence declines. When modern society caters to the lowest common denominator, the results are predictable.

    3. In the late 19th Century, visual reaction times averaged around 194 milliseconds, the analysis showed. In 2004 that time had grown to 275 milliseconds.

      How, exactly, did they measure a reaction time in milliseconds in the late 19th century?

      1. Swiss watches.

  3. Only 80% of Republicans oppose taxing for pre-school? I guess we know now that RINOs make up 20% of Republicans. And 25% of Libertarians favor it? Bunch of LINOs.

    1. Those would be “libertarians” like Shriek. You know, the ones who read Hayek and thought he supported a gargantuan regulatory and police state.

      1. If you feed the smelly homeless nutjobs, don’t be surprised and upset when they congregate at your door.

        1. I call those “my cats”. Please don’t deny me my pets – it’s all that lies between me and the maelstrom.

          1. Some pets! You realize they’ll eat your corpse if you die, right?

            1. I thought that was one of the good things about cats.

              1. Saves on burial or cremation!

  4. But why should I be the only one paying for my kid? It takes a village and we all signed the social contract at birth to take care of each other forever!

    1. It’s investment into our national intellectual infrastructure!

  5. I wonder how valid this poll really is as a national snapshot. Just imagine the shock to the liberal system that people are drawing lines at both govt expansion and the notion of free shit.

  6. Also doesn’t it mean that if kids actually do need “pre-school” then the parents most of whom have attended at least 13 year of government school are unable to teach their kids even the basics that a 4 year old needs. Isn’t this a clear proof of how ineffective government schools are, people who attend them can’t even teach a 4 year old.

  7. Having paid for all my kids (3) to attend preschool, I cannot begin to tell you of the sacrifice and privation we went through to make that happen.

    The 1% don’t have to worry about it. We 99% do. If we can help even one family avoid the horror we endured, we need to do it.

    As long as I don’t have to pay for it, of course. Cause I already paid, so…Get Outta Jail Free card, yo.

    1. Having paid for all my kids (3) to attend preschool, I cannot begin to tell you of the sacrifice and privation we went through to make that happen.

      I had my kids Home Preschooled.

      1. So you had them play, maybe sing some cute songs, read them some stories and then take naps?

        1. So…just like Preschool Preschool

          1. IOW we didn’t send them to preschool.

            My first went to a preschool for about two weeks before we figured out we couldn’t stand the place.

        2. So you had them play, maybe sing some cute songs, read them some stories and then take naps?

          But really, a blind friend of mine who is a stay-at-home mom homeschooled her children. We paid her to sit our children. It worked out incredibly well. They really needed the money and we got a fantastic environment for them to be in while we worked.


        1. The “right wing” part I’m not too sure about. The rest is spot on.

  8. It would be interesting to see the results along another demographic split: people who actually pay (income) taxes vs. people who don’t.You could have one additional question:

    How much did you pay in income taxes last year?
    –Less than $5000
    –$5000 — $10,000
    –$10,000 — $20,000
    –More than $20,000

    I think that seeing the results broken down along these lines would be…enlightening.

    1. Doubtful. I’ve yet to encounter a person in my local social circle who’s not all in for tax-funded full-day kindergarten (we do a half-day now). And I bet they all pay $20K+.

  9. Parents, Not Taxpayers Should Pay for PreSchool

    Fixed it.

  10. Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children!!!

  11. Libertarians yes: 21%

    I don’t think these self-identified ‘libertarians’ know what that word means.

    1. Everyone’s a libertarian until you run into their pet issues. It’s why we’re doomed to never win an election.

      1. Could be, but most real libertarians I’ve met would say no. I bet the ones saying yes are the Bill Maher “libertarians.”

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