The Daily Astorian: “Early education is key”
Letter: Early education is key
In reading The Daily Astorian editorial from Nov. 17, “Are we becoming a nation of the unfit?” I, too, have many of the same worries. It’s especially troubling to me as a law enforcement official that around 75 percent of young people are unable to serve in the military, in part because of serious criminal offenses and failure to graduate from high school.
Over my 35 years in law enforcement, I’ve seen that helping kids finish school is one of the keys to making sure they become responsible adults who are less likely to commit crimes. Specifically, research I’ve reviewed shows that early education is proven to help accomplish that. An early introduction to learning helps young children start kindergarten well-adjusted and ready to learn. Kids who attend are, in the long run, more likely to finish school and less likely to become criminals.
Congress has an opportunity to help more kids get the right start by passing the Early Learning Challenge Fund. This proposal will provide $1 billion a year to states to increase access to high-quality early learning programs, especially for the most at-risk kids.
We know that our communities, and our nation, pay the consequences when young people fail to succeed. We can’t afford to fail them. I hope Oregon’s leaders, U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, will take that into account and extend their support for early learning.
Chief of Police
Seaside Police Department