Letters to the Editor

Letter | Education dollars are investment in public safety

I was glad to read in the Mercer Island Reporter that K-12 education fared so well in the state’s 2012 supplemental budget. Another important program that was spared from cuts in the final budget was the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), our state’s preschool program for low-income 3 and 4-year-olds.

Few would argue that success in school is critically important in preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers and community leaders. What may be less understood is the role that high-quality early childhood education plays in laying the foundation for success in school. Research has shown that when children who are at the greatest risk of school failure attend high-quality preschool programs they are much more likely to do well in school and graduate. In one study, low-income kids who participated in a high-quality preschool were 44 percent more likely to graduate from high school than kids in the control group.

This is of particular importance to law enforcement, since dropouts are eight times more likely to be incarcerated than those who earn a high school diploma. Early learning is a great investment in our kids, our schools and public safety.

Ed Holmes

Mercer Island Chief of Police


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