About 60 percent of those behind bars in Los Angeles are high school dropouts, said Baca, adding that many struggled in school because they did not have the benefit of preschool during their earliest years. “When children go to preschool, they get to kindergarten with social confidence,” said Baca, 71, who worked as a part-time teacher in middle and high school and adult education classes for 30 years, in addition to his criminal justice career. Baca heads the national organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. President Obama has made a sweeping expansion of preschool education a priority. He wants to raise $75 billion over the next decade for the plan by doubling the federal tax on cigarettes from $1.01 to $1.95 per pack.