DETROIT (WWJ) – Making sure that Detroit kids are prepared when they enter kindergarten doesn’t just help them succeed in school — it also saves taxpayers a lot of money.

That’s according to a first-of-its-kind study, commissioned by the Max M. And Marjorie Fisher Foundation, which puts taxpayer savings at $100,000 for each Detroit child who starts school with the tools they need to succeed.

The conclusions support prior research which showed evidence that kids, particularly from low-income families, who attend early education programs that prepare them are less likely to depend on taxpayer-funded services.

“If they enter kindergarten not ready to learn, then they are two years behind their peers,” said the foundation’s Julie Fisher Cummings. “And this translates into not, in most cases, being able to read by third grade.”

“The statistics tell us the children who attend quality pre-school require less special ed, have less grade repetition, have fewer behavior problems in school and graduate from high school at higher rates,” Fisher said. “They also have less involvement in the very expensive criminal justice system.”

The study was conducted by Wilder Research.


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