Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Today's Lesson in Liberal Economics

Ever wonder why liberals are always looking to raise taxes? Maybe it's because haven't even mastered basic arithmetic. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal comes this disturbing news:

For every $1 put into preparing 4-year-olds for learning, Wisconsin schools would save 68 cents on later costs such as special education and teacher turnover, according to a new economic impact study. The same report finds that Milwaukee would save 76 cents for every $1 invested in high-quality 4-K. The study, to be released at a meeting of school superintendents in Madison Wednesday, aims to make a case for expanding 4-K in Wisconsin.

"You're not spending a dollar, you're spending more like 32 cents," said Clive Belfield, an economist at Queens College, in Flushing, N.Y., who co-authored the Wisconsin study with Dennis Winters, research director at NorthStar Economics Inc., in Madison.

Using cost estimates from the state Department of Public Instruction and savings projections from existing research, Belfield and Winters figure Wisconsin schools would be able to recover 68% of their 4-K costs by the time the children graduate from high school. Much of the savings would come from a reduced need for special education, as well as increased job satisfaction from teachers, resulting in lower turnover and less of a need for substitute teachers. Milwaukee schools would recover 76% of the costs in 4-K, according to the study, because Milwaukee would benefit more from reductions in special education and grade repetition.

"It's much easier to educate children who are prepared," Belfield said. "The school can maximize learning, and that's going to pay off."
In other words, the State of Wisconsin is proposing to spend a dollar now on pre-school education to save 68 cents in costs later. How can we put these people out of their misery, and save the taxpayers 32 cents (not adjusted for inflation)?


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