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Early Learning Programs Reduce Later Crime

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Last month California law enforcement leaders released research from the non-profit organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, showing that investing more in high quality preschool programs not only reduces crime but saves millions of dollars.

Data motivated a group of public officials to shift the federal model from K-12 education to Preschool-12th grade. Representative George Miller, chairman of the House committee on Education and Labor, the panel that is responsible for writing the reform legislation of the Elementary and Secondary Act, asserts that the report is critical in reauthorizing the act which was called No Child Left Behind in its last renewal.

The report cited the long term study of Michigan’s Perry Preschool that compared two groups of low-income high risk 3 and 4 year olds beginning in 1962. Those who did not attend the Perry program were five times more likely to be chronic offenders by age 27 and by age 40, kids who were not participants were twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes.

Such data adds to studies that show early childhood programs help kids be better achievers and citizens later in school and are important indicators for incorporating education of young children in the new act.

Reported By: Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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