Letter: Police know that investment in preschool results in big savings in reduced crime
I read with great interest the recent article, "Jennifer Garner promotes early childhood education," about the Strong Start for America's Children Act introduced in Washington, D.C.
As Benton County sheriff, I joined other Tri-City community leaders last summer in a meeting with Sen. Patty Murray to talk about the importance of early childhood education and encourage development of this legislation.
For many years, law enforcement leaders in our region and state have talked about the proven crime prevention benefits of early learning and urging policymakers to increase funding for these programs. Our governor and Legislature increased funding for preschool for low-income kids in the state budget. I hope Congress will follow their example.
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Making it possible for more at-risk kids to attend high-quality preschool would not only benefit individual children, it would have serious payoffs for taxpayers. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy calculated that high-quality preschool programs can provide an average return of $15,000 for every child served. Most of these returns come from lower criminal justice costs. I agree with Garner that this bill is a step forward for America's children and hope other members of our congressional delegation join Murray in supporting this important legislation.
STEVE KEANE, Kennewick