Education News

Report: Early Education Helps To Keep Kids Out Of Jail

Organizations believe investing in education now will pay off later.

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Pre-K children sit on the floor, listening to instruction.

 

A report released today finds that kids who complete their education are more likely not to commit crimes as adults. Law enforcement is using the conclusions to lobby legislators to fund pre-kindergarten education in Texas.

It’s estimated that 12 percent of Texas’ high school students do not graduate on time and that people who do not have a high school diploma are more than three times as likely to be incarcerated. Joshua Spaulding is with the organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

He says investing in education now will pay off later.

“There’s a really good opportunity here in Texas, to improve the quality of pre-K education that Texas kids receive,” Spaulding says. “So, our members want to keep our communities safe, and one of those tools is actually high quality, pre-kindergarten.” 

Bob Sanborn heads Children at Risk, a nonprofit organization that drives change for children through research and education. He knows the buzz in Austin is about quality pre-kindergarten opportunities for all kids.

“Talk is cheap,” Sanborn says. “What are we going to have done? Are we going to have at the end of this legislative session, full-day, pre-K for all low-income kids? That’s going to be a hard road to get there, but that’s what we need to see happen.” 

Texas taxpayers spend more than $2.5 billion a year in incarceration costs, from local jails to state and federal prisons. At his recent state of the state address, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that early education was among the five emergency items on his legislative agenda.

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