Indeed. Betsy Russell reports at Eye on Boise:
Saying mothers should stay home with their children, members of a House committee have killed legislation to require minimum safety standards and criminal history checks for Idaho day-cares.
... A stunned Cathy Kowalski, a Coeur d’Alene early childhood consultant who has worked on the bill for three years, said, “I think it is a committee whose members are definitely out of touch with the needs of their constituents, and I think the working families in their districts need to let them know.” Sylvia Chariton, who testified in favor of the bill on behalf of the American Association of University Women of Idaho, said, “It’s ridiculous – those men live in a time warp, when 60 percent of all mothers of children under 6 years of age take them someplace to be cared for.”
The bill, sponsored by Rep. George Sayler (D-Coeur d'Alene), failed on a 6-5 vote in which two Republicans (Sharon Block of Twin Falls and Lynn Luker of Boise) aligned with the committee's three Democrats.
One of the men voting in the majority is none other than Rep. Steve Thayn (R-Emmett), whose name will not be new to RSR readers. Thayn's reign of pain on mainstream Idaho families continues today, as he pushes a resolution that "emphasizes that early childhood education can be, and should be,
delivered by parents in a home environment," or in other words, no pre-Kindergarten or Head Start for you, Idaho kiddies. Contrast that with the early childhood learning standards legislation proposed by Democrats Donna Pence and Branden Durst, which would help parents find the best-quality day care for their children.
Parental choice means making the best decisions for your family. For most families today, both partners work both for financial reasons and because they have skills the community needs. Thayn and the five other Republicans who killed Sayler's bill are denying reality and denying the fact that women play an essential role in the economy. They also fail to recognize that excellent child care providers and preschool opportunities are meant to supplement, not replace, parents' attention. But what do we expect from the likes of someone who calls public education "institutionalized child abuse"?