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Quick Rant: Early Childhood, Poverty, and PBS | Ecology of Education

Quick Rant: Early Childhood, Poverty, and PBS


Let’s just be clear for a second: Millions of children living below the poverty line have NO access to quality early childcare to nurture their minds. They enter school already well behind their more affluent peers.

That deficit is minimized (not solved, just lessened) by the quality programming on PBS, the flagship of which is Sesame Street for the early childhood set. You can’t talk equal access to education (and by proxy equity and equality — read as: racial social justice) without addressing this key Experience Gap.

Cutting PBS funding is paramount to cutting the lifeline to a meager amount of early childhood education for millions of impoverished children across this nation of ours. At a scant 0.012% of the federal budget, it is well worth the cost. A bargain even.

We should be outraged at the hypocrisy of anyone talking about the value of quality education while simultaneously discounting the vital importance of the earliest years, especially for those with the least among us.

PBS is working to fill that gap. What are we doing?

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Author:Jason Flom

Learner. Educator. Reader. Writer. Cyclist. Part-time Polyanna. Husband. Daddy. Founder, Ecology of Education. Director of Learning Platforms, Q.E.D. Foundation. Twitter: @JasonFlom. LinkedIn: Jason Flom; Edutopia's Green School Group; and doing dishes while pretending to be a professional underground rapper. "I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self denial, and above all, compassion." Kurt Hahn