By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Children of college graduated mothers scored higher in cognitive performance at 3 than those of mothers who were high school dropouts, research proof of the advantages for those living in rich stimulating environments.

According to studies, the difference between privileged and disadvantaged children is as big at age 18 as it was at 3, one of the largest achievement gaps of the 65 countries participating in the Program for International Student Achievement.

Yet, U.S. public spending on higher education is over three times that of spending on preschool. Federal and state governments spent around $10,000 per child, kindergarten through 12th grade. Three- to five-year-olds get less than $5,000, and children under three get $300.

This is “a scandal,” writes Eduardo Porter, in his New York Times article “Investments In Education May Be Misdirected.”

We spend about 5.5 percent of the nation’s economic output on education, he writes, preschool through college; and we are missing the most important part – infants and toddlers.

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