Nine days ago we published an article expressing serious concerns over House Bill 1104. In a nutshell, this bill proposed to give additional authority to the Superintendent of Public Instruction over all licensed early childcare providers when it comes to technical assistance (i.e. training, coaching, etc.) and the “quality improvement process” for early childhood programs. These aspects are currently overseen by Lutheran Social Services (LSS).
In a sense, such authority over licensed childcare providers, together with the authority already possessed over K-12 education, would have literally given DPI’s Superintendent of Public Instruction cradle to college authority. As the bill came out of committee with an 8-4 Do Pass recommendation, the prospects of defeating it looked grim. But prior to writing the aforementioned article, I had a lengthy visit with one of the main opponents to the legislation and was very encouraged by her knowledge of the issue and absolute determination to kill the bill.
Since the legislature has a history of granting more power to DPI, I was very interested to see how the vote would play out today when the bill hit the House floor. And boy oh boy, I wasn’t disappointed. From the comments of the bill carrier — Rep. Todd Porter (R – District 34) — I knew things may get interesting. Even though he advocated for passage of the legislation, he acknowledged that they had received a lot of e-mails in opposition to the bill.
You really have to watch the floor debate for yourself. You can see it here. Representatives Bill Tveit (R – District 33), Rick Becker (R – District 7), Matt Ruby (R – District 40), Kathy Skroch (R – District 26), and Dan Johnston (R – District 24) all stood to make compelling cases for defeat of the bill. It was nothing short of phenomenal. And when the votes were tallied, the bill once expected to easily pass died a quick death by a vote of 26-67.
As I said nine days ago, these kids — the youngest learners among us — aren’t part of a public education system, nor should they be. These things should be left to parents, private organizations, and non-profits to manage— not DPI. Thankfully, the legislature saw it the same way when they slapped the proverbial nose of the camel as it tried to get its nose in the tent.
It’s an inspiring thing to see positive results from the organized efforts of those who worked to defeat this bill.
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