Harris County Judge Ed Emmett this week announced he would not put a measure on the ballot this November that would have asked voters to approve or reject a proposed tax to benefit an early childhood education program known as the Early to Rise campaign. It's run by the nonprofit Harris County School Readiness Corporation, and the money they'd hope to generate from the tax would provide training and assistance to pre-school programs. The Early to Rise campaign has filed a lawsuit asking an appellate court to force Judge Emmett to include the item on the November ballot.
As the battle continues over this particular ballot initiative, there are underlying philosophical questions to ask: What, exactly, should early childhood education programs do? And when, precisely, should public education begin? Should taxpayers fund programs to educate kids before they even reach kindergarten? Or should it simply be up to parents themselves – including whatever resources they deem appropriate and can afford – to get their kids ready to learn in those first few years of life?
On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore what pre-K programs here in Houston seek to do, and welcome your thoughts about when public education should start.
Also...Houston Matters does some visiting and re-visiting:
- We visit River Oaks to talk with residents there about their neighborhood.
- We visit a Houston-area drive-in movie theater
- And we revisit the 1994 Houston-based film Reality Bites, and consider whether it captured Generation X, or simply the media’s idea of Generation X.
Houston Matters begins at noon on KUHF 88.7 FM. To join us on air, call 713-440-8870 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.