We know the stats: children who fail to finish high school have a higher rate of recidivism, leading to increased crime and longer prison stays, and lack of an educated workforce hurts us in attracting good jobs. We also know the critical importance of early education.
Although we have a mandate for full-day kindergarten, funding is needed to ensure that this opportunity is available to all children. In addition, it’s important to take another step, and make a push toward enhancing and improving pre-kindergarten opportunities.
Cost is always an issue. Of course, we could save the upfront costs and just pay for it down the line with higher unemployment, higher rates of recidivism, and ever larger prisons.
We are sitting on a $2 billion surplus, with both gubernatorial candidates vowing to cut revenues. Now is the time to invest in early childhood education. If not now, when will we do so?