Health, Wealth, and Education

I was reading the article “The Preschool Wars” by Kayla Webley, and I thought I would share some of the comments from it. It certainly plays into why we need to think about all of these issues together – poverty, literacy, education, health, and wealth. They are correlated.

  • Long-term studies show high-quality early-childhood education is particularly beneficial to low-income kids, helping them to avoid repeating grades in elementary school, stay on track to graduate from high school, earn more money as adults, and spend less time in jail or on welfare.
  • Only 9 states and DC are even trying to offer preschool programs to all children that want to attend and 10 don’t even have any state-funded programs.
  • You get a 60:1-300:1 ROI for each dollar spent on these programs in terms of increased earnings, crime reduction, and other benefits to society. [And, I would argue that as the government is and continues to be the primary payer in healthcare that there are savings possible here also.]
  • 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line today.
  • 1 in 4 third-graders who have lived in poverty and are not reading at grade level will drop out or fail to graduate by age 19 (6x more than the rate for proficient readers).

It creates some good food for thought. We need to continue to think about how we help people teach their kids. We need to think about how we introduce health into the conversations at home and at school much earlier in life. These things can make a difference.

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