Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

January 9, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Pay attention to the kids

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana pays dearly for its reluctance to invest in its youngest residents.

State officials can improve life for all Hoosiers by making child-related issues their top priority. Indiana legislators got their chance beginning Tuesday, when the General Assembly convened in Indianapolis. The importance of other topics pale in comparison, and they should resist ideological diversions.

Gov. Mike Pence wants a voucher program for low-income kids to attend pre-school, and the Legislature should make it happen in the upcoming session. Its adoption should also include a firm timeline to implement the next crucial step in early childhood education — a pre-kindergarten program for all 4-year-olds in Indiana. It’s also time for Indiana to lower its mandatory age for school attendance from 7 to 5, and abandon the optional status of kindergarten.

At the same time, Pence needs to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to help hundreds of thousands of uninsured Hoosiers get proper health care and, thus, address another child-related problem in Indiana — our tragically high infant mortality rate. Likewise, the Legislature should support initiatives to reduce the state’s high rate of smoking by pregnant women.

Statistics indicate a lack of public attention to these situations. Indiana has never lowered its mandatory school attendance age from 7, one of the latest in America. Indiana is one of just 10 states that do not allocate public funds for pre-kindergarten programs. Indiana has the nation’s sixth-highest infant mortality rate at 7.7 deaths before age 1 per 1,000 live births. The primary cause, health officials say, is smoking by the pregnant mothers, and Hoosiers rank among America’s heaviest smokers.

Kids feel the consequences in each situation. The state weakens itself by allowing the ill effects to recur.

In the case of early childhood education, multiple studies indicate a rate of return at $7 for every dollar invested. Kids need less special education, remedial courses and grade repetition. Pence is pushing for limited pre-kindergarten state funding, aimed at 30,639 low-income, “at-risk” Hoosier 4-year-olds who aren’t already in Head Start or other federal programs, according to an Indiana University study cited in the Northwest Indiana Times. The estimated annual cost would be $149 million. A universal program, which Pence is not endorsing, would carry a pricetag of up to $350 million a year. Leaders of the Republican majority in both houses of the Legislature are skeptical of committing to any pre-kindergarten plan, limited or full, because of its cost.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 30, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Indiana's right-to-work law unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 29, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Heroin plague spreads into our city We published a report in Friday’s edition of the Pharos-Tribune that delved into the city’s growing problem with heroin.In that report, Logansport Police Detective 1st Sgt. Dan Frye said he doesn’t know how much more LPD officers will be wrestling wi

    July 20, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Companies enjoying U.S. benefits? Pay U.S. taxes The U.S. Supreme Court keeps telling us that corporations are people, but some of these “people” have a curious sense of patriotism.They enjoy making money in the United States. They have a strong market here in a society where their rights and their

    July 18, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Loopholes a mile wide At least Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma agrees that it’s time to close the loopholes in the ethics policies for state employees.Just how gaping some of those holes are became clear last week, as the State Ethics Commission sorted through the cases

    July 17, 2014

  • ANOTHER VIEW: Let Indiana's inmates vote Lake County is trying to figure out how to allow incarcerated voters to cast ballots. If you think that’s a bad thing, think again.It’s important to remember that county jails, in many cases, house people awaiting trial. They have the same right to v

    July 17, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Rural fire departments set to make gains Rural fire departments struggle to get by.Faced with increasing costs and limited if not decreasing tax bases, many Indiana departments are merging as a way to share crews and equipment.Many departments have been lucky enough to receive tankers, truc

    July 16, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.