Republican Governors and state legislatures in Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio and elsewhere have been busy jerking funds from preschool programs in poor areas in order to increase funding for wealthy school districts. Now we have the results of a 25 year study, the longest of its kind, showing the huge benefits of preschool. Turns out a mere $9,000 investment in preschool over an 18 month period returns $90,000 in benefits in lower crime, better jobs, less drug and alcohol abuse, and in many other ways.
The Chicago Tribune summarizes the key findings of the preschool study this way:
A group of researchers from the University of Minnesota for 25 years tracked 1,400 Chicago students who attended early childhood programs. They compared those who started preschool at age 3 in Child-Parent Centers, which offer comprehensive services for kids in low-income Chicago neighborhoods through second or third grade, and students who didn’t attend preschool at all or went to the typical Head-Start program.
Findings showed that students who went to preschool at Child-Parent Centers, Title 1 funded programs that focus on academic achievement and parental involvement, had a 28 percent lower incarceration or jail rate. They also were 28 percent less likely as adults to abuse drugs and alcohol, and they had a 20 percent increase in socioeconomic status. They also were 9 percent more likely to finish high school. That number jumped to 22 percent for males alone.
For kids that stayed in the program until second or third grade, the study showed a 55 percent increase in on-time high school graduation and 36 percent less chance of getting arrested for violence. Many also achieved a better socio-economic status with higher rate of health coverage.
Read more here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-report-preschool-pays-off-into-adulthood-20110609,0,7186438.story?track=rss