Montgomery County law enforcement leaders endorse Pre-K programs
By Marian Dennis, The Mercury News
One of the many discussions that went on at the meeting involved funding for childhood programs.
Rep. Stephens explained that Goldman Sachs did a $17 million program in Chicago that will put 2,600 more children in Pre-K programs near Chicago using private investor dollars. Stephens explained that he is determined to bring that to Pennsylvania. The financial institutions he has spoken with have loved the idea of social impact financing when it comes to paying for early childhood education.
Stephens explained, “We know we’re going to save money in special-ed costs down the road when kids are in high quality pre-K programs. We know we’re going to save in corrections costs down the road. All of the savings are down the road.”
Stephens continued that social impact financing would allow the savings, which would be seen with the implementation of early childhood programs, to be shared later with the private investors that supply the funding for now. He continued to explain that philanthropic dollars could be used as a backstop to minimize some of the risk for the private sector.
“We’ve got the big financial institutions and we’ve got the big philanthropic organizations and everyone loves the concept so now I’m working to get those pieces all to connect together,” Stephens said.
Access to quality pre-K can ultimately preserve tax payer dollars by decreasing dropout rates, save taxpayers money by decreasing crime and incarceration and boost the economy through increased lifetime earnings, according to Pre-K for PA.
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