Two top St. Louis area law enforcement officials joined others across the U.S. urging lawmakers to invest in early childhood education to prevent crime and save tax money, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch endorsed a report from the national group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. It says researchers found that at-risk children without a quality education in their early years were up to 70 percent more likely to commit violent crimes.
Their message is aimed at Congress, which is considering creation of an Early Learning Challenge Fund. The bill, endorsed in June by a House committee, would provide up to $1 billion to states to expand and improve education of children under 5. “One way or another, these kids are going to get an education,” McCulloch said. “I’d rather it be at a quality early learning center than behind razor wire and thick concrete walls.” “Fight Crime” said taxpayers should save money in the long run, but that it is too complicated to predict how much.