Early education is the foundation of school reform

May 07, 2010

Kudos to the Sun for its thoughtful editorial on May 7 recognizing the vital importance of quality early childhood programs and pre-K in closing achievement gaps and imparting lifelong benefits to children ("Excellence at early age").

A mountain of research, notably the Perry Pre-School study and Chicago Child Parent Centers study, document that these investments save governments enormous costs in the form of reduced incarceration, less need for special education, smaller public assistance rolls and improved high school graduation rates.

Children who get access to quality early childhood programs end up earning more as adults and have higher rates of home ownership, among other benefits. Given these facts, Maryland lawmakers should make expanded investment in pre-K a critical first step in any meaningful school reform.

Sean Dobson, Silver Spring

The writer is executive director of Progressive Maryland.

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