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Preschool Saves Money

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Original Title:
Study Finds Public Preschool Would Pay Off for Taxpayers

A new report out today says universal preschool programs save taxpayer money down the road.

The non-partisan Rand Corporation says high-quality, publicly funded preschool programs improve student performance later in life and reduce the burden on social programs by decreasing drop-out and youth crime rates.

The study estimates that the dropout rate would decrease 14 percent and juvenile court cases 19 percent if universal preschool were available.

An earlier analysis by the think tank concluded that every dollar spent on preschool would generate $2.62 in economic benefits, including lower juvenile crime, reduced need for special education and fewer students repeating grades.

"I think in government a lot of times people perceive that government is good at spending money and not getting a return on the investment of that money, and there I think is a clear case there is a return on that investment," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon.

Filmmaker Rob Reiner is promoting a ballot initiative that would tax high-income residents to fund a universal preschool program that would cost $2 billion a year. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says the concept needs more study before such a big tax is imposed.

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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