The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Newby: Investing in early childhood is imperative

White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, right, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos attend a Halloween event at the South Lawn of the White House Oct. 30, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

With President Trump’s new budget proposal, children’s lives across the world would be put into question.

Taylor Newby

[email protected]

Last year, President Donald Trump proposed a budget to Congress that would eliminate nearly 14 percent of funds — $9.2 billion — from the current spending level reserved for early childhood education programs. Being the “land of the free,” it was a ridiculous notion to suggest limiting millions of children to a poor quality education — and ultimately, restricting them to poorer qualities of life. After Americans joined in pushing against this large decrease in funds for the Education Department, the initial $9.2 billion dropped to $3.6 billion.

But it is not enough. While this number is much smaller than the original proposal that was presented last year, and is credited to the millions of Americans who advocated for such a change in that original heavy number, the Education Department could still lose 5.3 percent of its funding. The cut could limit the 16 million children caught in poverty to disadvantaged futures. According to Save the Children, children who receive a high-quality early education earn 50 percent higher income, are 50 percent less likely to be arrested, are 28 percent less likely to develop alcoholism or drug-abuse problems, and are 20 percent more likely to graduate from high school.

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And not only would early childhood education programs suffer deeply, so are developmental programs that are founded in America yet rooted all across the globe.

The United States is a major global trailblazer, and it needs to continue doing just that — blazing trails in underdeveloped countries. But in his budget proposal, Trump proposed deducting 30 percent of funds from life-saving foreign aid and investments.

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These programs, this foreign aid, are directly tied to the programs dedicated to lifting children out of poverty-stricken lives, offering futures to those who otherwise would not have them, and working to give millions of children head starts in systems seemingly set against them.These programs matter and deserve to be acknowledged as richly beneficial and abundantly resourceful.

It seems as though Trump pulled the funds for the Education Department from foreign aid and investments — giving an advantaging to America’s children by disadvantaging millions of children who need America’s early childhood developmental programs. There should not be one department or the other. There should be both.

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There should be opportunity for every child everywhere, provided with abundance throughout the most vulnerable years of their life — regardless of nation, economic status, and religion. If the United States is able and obtains the resources to lead millions of nations in equipping future generations, then it should do just that. Because if it isn’t America coming to aid countries caught in famine, desolating poverty, and war, then who will it be?

It is ridiculous that the futures of millions of children’s lives are in question. America needs to offer equal opportunity to the children planted on this soil while also continue offering developmental programs in developmenting countries — providing millions of children the futures they deserve, founded on education and possibility, being limited by nothing — regardless of nation, economic status, or religion.



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