By CPPP Communications Intern Arthur D. Soto-Vásquez
Newly released research from the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin demonstrates the urgent need to expand early childhood education in Texas. Governor Abbott and members of the Texas legislature have rightly made early childhood education a major priority, and the data reminds us of the economic and educational benefits of Pre-K.
Every dollar spent in early childhood education saves the state $3.50 in the future. And low income children who do attend Pre-K are already more than twice as likely to be school-ready as low income children who did not.
The brand new research from CFRP shows us Pre-K has short-term benefits for the state, saving over $140 million in 2013-2014 through fewer students being held back a grade or being placed in special education.
As the Senate debates Pre-K legislation today, we urge leaders to create the best Pre-K system in the United States and lead the way in early childhood education. This should include a full day of Pre-K and requiring a staff-to-student ratio of 1:10 to improve quality. An office of early learning would help implement these goals. Texas can be the best state for children, and Pre-K will get us there by making a cost-effective investment in our future.