LD 1530: An Act to Establish a Process for the Implementation of Universal Voluntary Prekindergarten Education will provide 4-year-olds across Maine with the opportunity to attend public prekindergarten programs. Currently 40 percent of school districts in our state do not offer pre-K.

The direct benefits for children who participate in high-quality early education programs are clear. What may be less clear are the benefits to the state of Maine as a whole.

Some people who question whether or not to support this bill may be concerned about the costs associated with developing a statewide prekindergarten program; however, investing now will save the state money in the future.

Studies of high-quality childhood education programs show that the economic return rate for these programs averages around 16 percent per year – a return rate ranging from $3 to $9 per dollar invested.

A cost-benefit analysis of an early-childhood education system that would serve children from infancy to 4 years old shows that the government could save over $125,400 per person in a lifetime. Public spending on MaineCare, Supplemental Security Income, and other public assistance programs would drop by $23,860 per person. Because participants will perform better in school, and be more likely to obtain higher paying jobs, each person will pay approximately $71,300 more in taxes to the local, state, and federal government.

LD 1530 will help the state of Maine succeed financially and economically. I urge readers to contact their representatives and ask them to support this bill.

Kasey Belcher

Winterport


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.