Listen to this edition of the “Our American States” podcast from the National Conference of State Legislatures, “The Economic Argument for Early Childhood Education.” You’ll hear how one state legislator went from dismissing preschool investment to advocating for pre-k spending for at-risk children, as well as one economist’s argument that “investing in early childhood education can pay off in big ways for states, by closing opportunity gaps before they become achievement gaps.”
“So what would your message be to state legislators across the country as they consider this issue?”
“So I know there are always tight budgets. I know we live in a world with limited resources. But somehow when a stadium becomes a priority, they find a way to fund it. There’s a very low return on public funding of sports stadiums and we spend billions of dollars on that. What I would tell state legislators is: You cannot afford not to invest in these kids now because it costs you so much in terms of increased costs to our public schools, long-term increased costs to crime, that now is the time to invest – not a year from now, not five years from now – the research is overwhelming. Make this a priority. Make sure every one of our vulnerable kids has the opportunity to start kindergarten school-ready.”
You can read a transcript of the podcast here.