Pre-school payoff

Funding pre-school for all students would save money, a RAND study concludes.

For every dollar California would spend on creating a public preschool program for all 4-year-olds, the state would yield more than $2 in economic benefits by reducing the number of students held back in school, increasing the number of high school graduates and slashing the number of children who land in the juvenile justice system.

High-quality pre-school can help students from low-income, poorly educated and non-English-speaking families be successful in school; I doubt there’s much benefit to taxpayers in providing tuition-free pre-school for the children of affluent, educated parents.

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  1. lindybill says:

    How about English-immersion classes for four and five year olds? This solves the main problem with these children and eliminates the high income ones.
    Bill Millan

  2. This sounds like the High Scope/ Perry preschool project in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Head Start was crafted based on this school.

    From the Website:

    “This study—perhaps the most well-known of all High/Scope research efforts—examines the lives of 123 African Americans born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school. From 1962–1967, at ages 3 and 4, the subjects were randomly divided into a program group who received a high-quality preschool program based on High/Scope’s participatory learning approach and a comparison group who received no preschool program. In the study’s most recent phase, 97% of the study participants still living were interviewed at age 40. Additional data were gathered from the subjects’ school, social services, and arrest records. The study found that adults at age 40 who had the preschool program had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job, had committed fewer crimes, and were more likely to have graduated from high school than adults who did not have preschool. Additional findings are detailed in the project’s final report.”

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Why not just assign a Nanny to every child?

  4. But the problem here is that the RAND study assumes a ‘high-quality’ pre-school.

    I have little confidence that the public educational establishment can provide that; before we let them launch yet another empire building scheme we should make them fix the largely failed system we now have.

  5. lindenen says:

    That’s funny. I just read about a study on pre-school for poor students. They found it contributed nothing toward success in school, but that it caused more discipline problems.

  6. How does this tie in with the data out concerning the long-term effects of Head Start? From what I recall, the academic results dissipate by third or fourth grade.

  7. Jack Tanner says:

    #1 FAQ

    Where do my kids go for the free babysitting?

  8. We already fund kindergarten.