Early education is not an expense but a money-saving investment


By state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl 

We are all shareholders when it comes to education, and we all reap the dividends with prudent investments.

Education is the best antidote against drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and crime at any age. Education’s dividends are readily apparent in higher incomes and savings from reduced needs for special education and grade repetition as well as savings in criminal justice involvement and incarceration.

I’ve urged the governor to push hard for investments in early education and child care because working families and the middle class cannot afford failure in this realm. Parents whose kids have access to quality early education programs and affordable child care miss far less work and retain their jobs and incomes.

Our Founding Fathers knew that education would be the bedrock of our nation. No truer words were ever printed than, “Public education is the noblest endeavor that the United States has ever undertaken and is the greatest accomplishment of any democracy.”

Education has always been an investment more so than an expense, and investing in early education is one of the wisest and cost-effective moves we can make.

I have often thought that ignorance costs us, and society as a whole, many times more than what investing in education does. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of government wildly spending money – yours, ours or anybody’s – willy-nilly. However, the adage, “You get what you pay for,” has special meaning for education.

Parents working full time to make ends meet is the reality today, and evidence continues to mount that quality early education is important for kids educationally and socially.

Early education programs give kids the successful start they deserve in school and in life, and give hard-working parents the peace of mind they need.  Evidence shows helping more families access these programs can offer a return on investment more valuable than almost any other educational or public policy approach.

Please consider standing with the governor and me as lawmakers debate the merits of investing in early education and child care.

Our wallets, kids and all of Pennsylvania will reap the dividends.

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