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Long-term health of community dependent on education

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From: John Burnett, president and CEO of Community Education Coalition


In a recent letter to the editor, a report was cited that would cause readers to wonder whether investment in early education (pre-kindergarten) would lead to positive, long-term results for the children who are enrolled, and whether or not investment in pre-K helps our economy. In short, the answer is yes.


There is a vast amount of research, including several longitudinal research projects such as the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian studies, the results of which strongly support those communities and states that are investing in early education.

I would also encourage interested readers to review research that has been conducted by Pew Charitable Trusts, ReadyNation, and the Federal Reserve. Very notably Nobel Prize laureate and University of Chicago economist James Heckman

dedicates much time researching early learning. Additionally, Steven Barnett, who is director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, conducts research on the subject. All of these studies, and the researchers cited here, have concluded that early learning is vital to both pre-K students and the long-term health and growth of the economy.

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