Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saving kids means saving tax dollars

Did you know that providing high-quality preschool for all children who want it could save Washington up to $120 million every year in special education costs alone? That’s the Feb. 7 “Early learning fact of the day” from the Children’s Alliance
A recent analysis of why High Quality Pre-K Programs Save Taxpayers Money Right Away shows why these savings are so big: Taxpayers typically pay nearly $100,000 more for kids in special education, compared with kids who don’t need these services—and  high quality early learning can cut the number of kids who need special education in half (48%, to be exact). 
Washington recently netted $60 million in federal dollars by winning a national Early Learning Challenge Fund grant, because we know how to do early learning right.
 Ask Kylee’s mom. Kylee’s family doctor suspected developmental delays. Teachers and others within a Tacoma ECEAP program swung into action, tailoring a plan to help Kylee get ready to learn in kindergarten. The result? Kylee avoided special education (and its costs), and is now a top notch fifth-grade student. In fact, she just earned a Governor’s Award for having one of the highest WASL scores at her elementary school.
 ECEAP worked for Kylee. It works for taxpayers, too. That’s why teachers and people who care about kids say that passing the High Quality Learning Act (HB 2448) proposed by Rep. Roger Goodman could save far more children—and tax dollars—in the years ahead.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.