Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2013 Indiana Senate Bill 399 Preschool Education LOIT - Legislation Part 29

Senator Eckerty has introduced a bill to allow county councils or voters to petition for a ballot question of whether to impose a 1% personal income tax for early childhood education uses. LOIT is a Local Option Income Tax.

Senate Bill 0399 affects the following citations: IC 6-3.5-10; IC 6-8.1-1-1. The synopsis is as follows:
LOIT for early childhood education. Provides that a referendum may be held in a county on whether to authorize the county council to impose an early childhood education income tax. Specifies that such a referendum may be initiated by the county council or by a petition filed by voters. Provides that if such a referendum is approved, the county council may impose an early childhood education income tax of not more than 1% on the adjusted gross income of resident county taxpayers. Requires a county's certified distribution of early childhood education income tax revenue (as determined by the budget agency) to be distributed monthly to the county treasurer for deposit in a dedicated fund. Specifies that, subject to appropriation by the county council, the tax revenue may be used only for one or more of the following purposes: (1) To pay for the acquisition or construction of a facility that is or will be used for early childhood education. (2) To pay for the operation or maintenance expenses of a facility that is used for early childhood education. (3) To pay the salaries of teachers that provide instruction for early childhood education. (4) To pay for instructional materials and educational technology that are used for early childhood education. (5) To make grants to any school, school corporation, or other entity for any of these purposes.

I support the idea of providing local control over tax and policy issues that allow the locality to reflect the will of its citizens. If voters want their taxes raised I am all for it. Those who don't like it are free to live elsewhere.

What I would rather see though is a statewide effort to advance formal instruction to provide for completion of state sponsored education at an earlier age. Advancing the starting age of grade one by one year can cut two years from the completion age through elementary school compacting. Students would then be completing high school around age 16 which is consistent with other maturation periods and will allow a smoother transition from childhood to adulthood.[fn1]

Without establishing a uniform instructional, initiation age the benefits are lost by completion – often in elementary school. Cross population studies have demonstrated that programs such as Head Start do not produce greater educational outcomes by graduation and that “fade out” occurs as early as grade three[fn2]. Fade out is when the student's achievement regresses to the mean -- consistent with grade level peers who did not receive early instruction.

A better policy would be to reduce the bloated funding to educational institutions and return the money to parents. Parents with reduced financial stress and job demands can provide greater opportunities for educational support and learning to their children in a less stressful environment.[fn3]

Most of the research supporting positive outcomes for early childhood education have been based upon small, narrow sample groups. Those most likely to benefit are children who live in poverty, are at-risk of mental retardation and have little or no parental support. Children of more affluent parents exhibit virtually no benefit.[fn4] Support for earlier schooling is more likely to come from more affluent parents than those who would benefit the most.

This bill has been referred to the Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy. If you need assistance in improving life satisfaction and outcomes for your child and yourself then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

[1] Chen, C., & Farruggia, S. (2002). Culture and adolescent development. In W. J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.)

[2] Valerie E. Lee and Susanna Loeb, "Where Do Head Start Attendees End Up? One Reason Why Preschool Effects Fade Out," University of Michigan, January 24, 1994

[3] Robert Holland and Don Soifer, "How Sound an Investment? An Analysis of Federal Prekindergarten Proposals," The Lexington Institute, March 2008

[4] Lance T. Izumi and Xiaochin Claire Yan, "No Magic Bullet: Top Ten Myths about the Benefits of Government-Run Universal Preschool," Pacific Research Institute, May 2006.


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