Ben Davis, Sartell
By 2018, 70 percent of jobs in Minnesota will require a post-secondary degree. To set our kids up for success, let’s ensure they have a strong foundation – even before kindergarten.
$1 invested in pre-K can save the public $16 on welfare, crime, and remedial classes. And with a college-educated public, higher earnings lead to increased revenue. Economically, investing in pre-K makes sense.
Furthermore, children who attend pre-K do better in K-12 reading and math, while those who enter kindergarten unprepared are more likely to drop out of school. Educationally, investing in pre-K makes sense.
Finally, students who attend pre-K are more financially stable and less likely to go to prison (remember: prison costs taxpayers) or abuse drugs. Socially, too, investing in pre-K makes sense.
And yet, only 2 percent of Minnesota’s 4-year olds attend state-funded pre-K, and almost half of Minnesota’s children enter kindergarten unprepared.
In 2013, Minnesota took an important first step by investing in scholarships for high-quality pre-K, but current funding reaches only 9 percent of eligible children.
Let’s thank our state legislators for this first step, and let’s urge them to increase funding for and access to top-notch pre-K. Doing so simply makes sense.