Almost half of MN’s African American children live in poverty. In 2001, half of the adult African American adult men were arrested (no duplicate arrests and 58% of those men went on to be rearrested for a second crime within 2 years).
Our educational performance racial disparity is among the worst in the nation.
MN ranks at the very bottom of states that provide early childhood education to four year old’s (2% vs the national average of 25%). We now have 8000 families on a backlog for subsidized child-care.
A well established (2003) Federal Reserve Bank study has proved the almost 11$ return for each dollar spent on early childhood programs. Think what this means in terms of failed fourth grade reading proficiency (59%) and the attendant drop out rates, juvenile/criminal justice rates, public safety, public health, and burden on our schools.
We know that more early childhood programs for at risk youth increases readiness to learn in school, which increases reading proficiency by the fourth grade and on to higher graduation rates and lower drop out rates. We also know that nationally, 25% of american youth are charged as adults andover 30% of America’s youth are arrested before their 23rd birthday.
This is simple math and logic, the opposite of rocket science. Become an advocate for children; make some effort to point this out to another person today – it just might help bring early childhood programs to MN four year old’s a little bit faster.