A reader writes:

One of the most shocking pieces of news out of the Pennsylvania school funding crisis created by Gov. Corbett was the cost-cutting plan by many districts to ELIMINATE KINDERGARTEN. What an incredibly stupid and short-sighted idea. It would take decades to recover from such a decision.

The kindergarten idea was introduced to the United States in the 1870s, an import from Germany.

It was first established in St. Louis, which was in the forefront of educational innovation in those times due mainly to a far-sighted educator named William Torrey Harris. Harris believed in the importance of a sound public education. He believed in teaching the classics. He believed that maintaining good public schools was a public responsibility.

Now, in Pennsylvania, due to relentless budget-cutting, many districts are planning to eliminate kindergarten. Thus, what is called “reform” today brings us back almost to where we started. We are turning back the clock, privatizing schools (it’s the civil rights issue of our time, remember?), increasing class size (to close the achievement gap?), cutting the arts and physical education (frills?), and now districts find that the public doesn’t want to pay for kindergarten. I can’t remember which part of the reform agenda that is. Can you?