Letters to the Editor

Jim Hansen: Invest in early education

Regarding the Feb. 5 editorial “ Pre-K proof”: Recent headlines continue to reinforce our longtime belief that a child exposed to quality education early in life will have a better chance to do well in school, obtain a meaningful job and contribute to his or her community for a lifetime.

The mounting evidence should compel public and private leaders to invest in early childhood education. For those who need dollar figures and statistics, there are endless studies showing the significant economic benefits of early education programs.

The recent Duke University study provides yet another example of the cost savings our state can reap with an up-front investment in high-quality pre-K. These are long-term investments in our future generations.

The new school letter grades show a strong correlation between family income and the school’s grade performance. Low-income children without quality pre-K start kindergarten at an 18-month disadvantage, with the gap only widening as they move into higher grades.

As regional president for PNC Bank, I’m proud of how PNC has embraced and invested in this issue. I encourage other business and community leaders to join me in advocating for the future of our children, breaking down the barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential.

Jim Hansen