Reader Opinion: Fund early education
I suggest that the high percentage of young black men in trouble with the justice system is because they commit more crimes. And the reason they commit those crimes is not white bias or lack of schools. The reason lies in early life in homes wher...
I suggest that the high percentage of young black men in trouble with the justice system is because they commit more crimes. And the reason they commit those crimes is not white bias or lack of schools. The reason lies in early life in homes where many parents lack the time and resources to provide a learning oriented background for the child. The child arrives in elementary
school to compete with "privileged" children who often can read and use the computers that the black child has never seen. The understandable result is that over time the black child becomes discouraged and either lashes out or more likely drops out.
Gov. Dayton's proposed budget includes more than $100 million on preschool programs for 4-year-olds in public schools. This may be the best way to deal with the chronic school achievement gap between lower income minority children and white children.
A U of MN researcher has released data showing the pre-K approach is cost-effective. For every $1 invested in a school-based early education program, $11 is returned to society over the children's lifetimes, according to a long-term economic analysis conducted by Arthur Reynolds, a
professor of child development at the university's College of Education. Dayton has yet to say how he intends to fund his early-childhood education initiatives, but many educators are enthusiastic nonetheless. If it's a formal part of the state's public education system, high-quality pre-K
stands a better chance.
Let's hope the governor can persuade lawmakers to fund his early-education vision.