A long, contentious debate over the merits of bringing the Head Start program to Bangor School District ended Monday night.
The Board voted on the matter and the vote ended one member’s attempt to read 100-pages of Internet and cable TV opinion pieces that could have turned the meeting into an all-nighter.
In the end, the board approved an agreement with Community Services for Children Inc. of Allentown to run the Head Start program at the Washington Elementary School from Aug. 1, 2014 through Aug. 31, 2015.
Head Start is the pre-kindergarten program for children from disadvantaged families.
In order for the program to get off the ground, the district needs 20 children, ages 3 to 4, from families with incomes of $23,000 to $24,000 with four members.
The district will pay for the cost of busing the students, estimated at $14,000 a year.
School board member, Toni Lynch, argued repeatedly throughout the discussion that the preschool program was “a Marxist takeover of education” that was intended to “break the bond between parent and child.”
In the process, he said, the program would give parents the idea, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of your children.”
“You are creating generations of failures,” Lynch said.
After Lynch began reading a lengthy piece by Melissa Harris-Perry, a political commentator who focuses on African-American politics on MSNBC, some board members became restless.
School board member, Craig Berger, referring to Lynch’s claim he had 100 pages to read, told Lynch he could find 100 pages that say the program is a good idea.
School Board President, Pam Colton, told Lynch she wanted to read those pages on her own. “I’m not going to sit here until 3 a.m.,” she said.
Lynch lost his filibuster and the program was approved 6-2.