I read with interest the recent op-ed by Jeremy Fischer regarding the importance of investing in early childhood education in Maine (Jan. 4).

When he writes, “Prioritizing further state investments in pre-K eventually will help grow and strengthen Maine’s workforce, improve our economic competitiveness and help our people and communities prosper,” I would also add that high-quality early childhood education is critical for increasing our military readiness.

Kids who go to quality pre-K and Head Start are much more likely to be prepared for school and beyond, including defending their country, should they choose that path. And make no mistake: We are facing a readiness crisis in this country based on the high percentage of youth who are ineligible to serve.

Mr. Fischer is absolutely right. Augusta needs to up its game and invest more in high-quality early childhood education for many reasons, including our national security.

Frank Dillon

retired brigadier general, U.S. Air Force


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