November 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Democratic presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris has introduced a bill rolling out a pilot program that keeps children in school until 6:00 P.M., ostensibly to help their parents be able to work longer hours without having to worry about childcare costs.
The bill sparked a number of critiques from conservatives.
Even liberal Whoopi Goldberg commented, “I think keeping a kid in school until 6:00 is like institutionalizing them.”
The Family Friendly Schools Act, which is co-sponsored by five left-wing Democrats, seeks to “align the school day with the work day.”
The proposal sounds “like classic Harris: She identifies a situation most would agree is not great and sets about remedying it in a punitive, authoritarian way almost no one likes,” wrote Bonnie Kristian in a scathing analysis of the bill at The Week. Kristian questioned “the notion that if school is shorter than work, we should make school longer instead of making work shorter,” noting that “many parents may want to leave at 3 to see more of their kids and less of their coworkers.”
Harris’s bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to
… provide grants to local educational agencies to establish “Family Friendly School” policies at 500 elementary schools that align the school day with the work day to better support working families and to disseminate the learnings from these model schools so that other local educational agencies may adopt these practices, and to establish a supplemental 21st century community learning centers grant program to support programs and activities during summer recess when school is not in session.
The bill, which if enacted would presumably eventually be amended to include all schools, “envisions the role of schools as not just providing the education that students need and leaving the rest in parents’ hands, but as providing a free or at least heavily subsidized service to parents who work,” wrote Robert VerBruggen at National Review.
Harris is not the only 2020 Democratic hopeful who has proposed expanding how much the government is involved with parenting and childcare. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (who in 2004 wrote a book called The Two Income Trap, which explained how the phenomenon of both parents working has made families less financially stable) has called for universal, government-run childcare. So have Senators Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar.
“Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable to financial disaster than ever before,” reads the Amazon summary of Warren’s book.
In November 2018, an article from the Foundation for Economic Education laid out some of the risks, disadvantages, and proven negative outcomes of placing children in school at younger and younger ages and asked, “As New York City expands its universal pre-K program to all of the city’s three-year-olds, will compulsory schooling laws for preschoolers follow?”
Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review also noted, “[B]ecause the proposal gives more opportunity and responsibility to the state to socialize and ‘enrich’ the lives of children, it becomes a target for activism by those on every side who think they know precisely how to socially engineer our children.”
As attorney general of California, Sen. Harris targeted Center for Medical Progress journalist David Daleiden for his undercover exposé of Planned Parenthood’s role in the trafficking of aborted baby body parts. The state is currently prosecuting Daleiden and his fellow undercover journalist Sandra Merritt, alleging they illegally recorded conversations.