According to research, only 48 percent of poor children are ready to learn at age 5 compared to 75 percent of children from moderate to high income families. The 25 percent from moderate to high income families that are not ready at age 5 shows that money doesn’t necessarily solve all issues; however, it is a prominent factor when comparing school readiness between the poor and moderate to high income families. Children’s lack of school readiness has its repercussions in later development, such as students who are not ready to learn at a young age have led to high school dropout rates, which are happening every 8 seconds in our nation. If high school students that dropped out in 2011 had graduated, then the nation would have benefitted from about $154 billion in additional income.
However, when we look at incarceration rates in Oregon for example, we are spending $30,000 per inmate compared to $10,000 per Student. Over the next decade, Oregon expects to spend an additional cost of $600 million as the prison population grows. Not only is this happening in the state of Oregon but we are spending more on prisons than schools across our nation.
Do you think we prioritize prisons over our schools? Why/Why not? What are your thoughts on investing in children’s school readiness and will this have an impact on incarceration rates? Other thoughts on what we have to do to foster children’s school readiness and development?