Tax dollars wiping bottoms in California as government schools expand reach to 4-year-olds

The government’s push to get kids into schools at a younger age, instead of staying at home with their parents, is leading to unforeseen problems in California. 

The Los Angeles Times…

The government’s push to get kids into schools at a younger age, instead of staying at home with their parents, is leading to unforeseen problems in California. 

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that public schools are “grappling with” problems of potty training. 

“Potty training — once primarily the purview of parents and child-care programs — is increasingly becoming an issue for public school districts,” reported the Times.  

It’s gotten so bad that the California Department of Education (CDE) had to issue a clarifying policy about wiping kids’ butts, according to the Times.  

The problem is that California has added a new grade level to public schools called transitional kindergarten, open to children age 4 and up.  

It’s an age that used to be the domain of private preschools or daycare centers.   

The CDE, in their rush to push more enrollment at a younger age, said toilet training isn’t necessary for public schools to accept students. 

“A school district, county office of education, or charter school must offer transitional kindergarten (TK) and kindergarten classes for all age-eligible children to attend, regardless of their toilet training status,” said the CDE’s policy.  

The CDE’s efforts are puffing enrollment in transitional kindergarten, despite the fact that studies have shown there are negative impacts in introducing children to public education at such a young age. 

For example, a study by Vanderbilt University showed that children in state-run pre-K education fared worse down the road than their peers who stayed at home. 

And now, thanks to the toilet issue, there’s even a growing body of law that deals with toilet training at state-run schools. 

These laws and precedents govern, for example, when a teacher must clean up a student themselves, and when a parent must be contacted to clean up their children.  

But the policies govern even more than that.  

Because of the growing preoccupation by schools about the spread of dangerous diseases like monkeypox and COVID-19, more resources are being devoted to healthcare services, which now include diaper-changing in California. 

“Can overworked educators — senior or junior — stay up to date with Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as viruses change and emerge? Probably not. And, quite frankly, it shouldn’t be their job,” said Erica Collins, a black education advocate for transitional kindergarten. 

Collins warned that without professional technical staff in schools devoted to potty business, it could lead to the next great school-based health crisis. 

Licensed daycare facilities must follow specific guidelines for bathrooms and diaper changing, said the Times. 

But all of that goes out the window, once the child enters a public school.  

“Instead, each district sets its own guidelines,” the newspaper observed.  

The CDE even anticipates that labor union contracts will have to be re-negotiated to address the issue. 

That guidance can be interpreted as a signal to the unions that more money will be made available to teachers to mollify them about diaper duty, even as school budgets feel the strain. 

Despite the fact that transitional kindergarten promises dubious benefits, and numerous poop problems, progressive supporters aren’t likely to back down. 

“Federally funded universal prekindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds has been a cornerstone of President Biden’s social agenda,” noted NPR.

That might be chilling news for parents concerned they are losing control of their kids’ education.