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New Research on Cost Savings from Early Learning

Last week the Pew Center on the States released a report by economist Timothy Bartik with new estimates of the effects and cost savings taxpayers can realize from high quality prekindergarten programs:

• Reduction in special-education placements of 30 to 50 percent;
• Reduction in grade retention (K-8) by up to 33 percent;
• Cost savings of up to $3,700 per child over the K-12 years;
• Crime-related cost savings ranging from $2 to $11 per dollar invested.

While Bartik's research indicates that universal prekindergarten provides the most return on investment, states can see also see results by targeting at-risk children through programs like home visiting.

Bartik, senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, has just published a new book, Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Economic Development, on which the Pew brief is based.

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