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Teach kids early

Published January 19, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Davis School District board member Peter Cannon has it right: "Our citizens are not educated enough in economics" ("Utah Eagle Forum gathers to discuss upcoming legislation," Tribune, Jan. 12).

Rather than educating students, as Cannon suggests, he should educate members of the Legislature, especially those who do not understand the economic benefits of early childhood education, long considered the most cost-effective programs for children.

Every dollar invested in early education saves taxpayers $13 in future costs. The MIT study, "Early Childhood Education for All: A Wise Investment," states: "Economic research — by Nobel Prize-winners and Federal Reserve economists, in economic studies in dozens of states and counties, and in longitudinal studies spanning 40 years — demonstrate that the return on public investment in high quality childhood education is substantial."

Similar support for the cost effectiveness of early education is detailed in a report by the Minnesota Association for Family and Early Childhood Education.

Why is it that the Utah Legislature ignores the early education of our children? Either our legislators are "not educated enough in economics," or they have no interest in helping the children who benefit most from such programs: primarily those from low-income families.

Janet and Don Thomas

Salt Lake City