Education
2:04 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Jefferson County Sheriff, Jail Chief Push for Early Childhood Education

Credit Shutterstock.com

The campaign for a nationwide expansion of early childhood education programs got local support Tuesday from a pair of unlikely Jefferson County officials—the sheriff and the jail director.

There's a connection. 

Citing the study below, they're arguing that the Obama Administration-backed plan could each year decrease Kentucky's prisoners by 1,200 and save $48 million. The argument goes: Early childhood education helps children perform better in school, increasing their odds of graduating high school and reducing their odds of getting into trouble.

Thirty percent of Louisville Metro Corrections inmates don't have a high school diploma or a GED, the study said. But research shows that early childhood education causes "less abuse and neglect, better performance in school, fewer high school drop-outs and, ultimately, fewer crimes committed and a reduction in the number of prisoners."

“Pay for quality early education and care for Kentucky kids now, or pay far more for the costs of crime in Kentucky in the decades to come," Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey said in a statement with the study.

The study titled "I'm the Guy You Pay Later" was released by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national nonprofit focused on crime prevention. 

It's not the first time officials in Kentucky not directly involved in education spoke out on the proposed early childhood expansion. In June, faith leaders, military officials, state Attorney General Jack Conway and others joined U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to push the plan. 

Details on the proposal are here.

And here's the study:

(Image via Shutterstock)