Pre-K expansion deserves to be passed

02/12/2013 5:18 PM

02/12/2013 5:19 PM

A piece of legislation is sitting in the South Carolina state Senate that is worthy of strong consideration and passage by the legislature. S. 134, introduced by Sen. Sheheen of Kershaw, makes it possible for all at-risk children to have access to quality pre-K education.

“Enriching Children: Enriching the Nation” by economist Robert Lynch makes a strong case for the importance of quality pre-K. Pre-K leads to higher levels of verbal, math and general intellectual achievement; greater success at school, less need for special education, higher graduation rates, higher levels of employment and earnings, less welfare dependency, better health outcomes, lower crime rates and higher government revenue and lower government expenditure (one study showed that for every dollar invested in pre K, $3.18 is saved).

Can it be that part of the answer to such challenges as budget deficits, growing disparity between wealth and poverty, crime and gun violence, health care costs, etc. is to invest in our children? What a gift that keeps on giving to everyone. I hope that the S.C. legislature will do the ethically right thing and the economically correct thing and pass such legislation. Ray Cleary, one of the state senators from the area, is on the Senate Education Committee. I hope he will get behind the bill.

The writer lives in Pawleys Island.

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