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Generals Lend Support To Nebraska Preschool Effort

Three retired Air Force generals are giving their support to an effort to add $20 million to Nebraska's state-funded early-childhood programs over two years.

Gens. Paul G. Cohen, Mark R. Musick, and Randolph M. Scott are in favor of a bill sponsored by state senator John Harms that would add 4,400 more low-income children to the state's preschool program over two years. (Nebraska has a unicameral, nonpartisan state legislative body.)

The generals are a part of an organization called Mission: Readiness, which brings together military leaders "calling for smart investments in America's children." The organization says that healthy and well-educated children are essential to the nation's security.

In a press release, the generals expressed concern about the reduced number of young men and women who have the educational qualifications to serve in the armed forces. The organization also released a document called Lincoln Youth: Ready, Willing, But Unable to Serve that noted almost three in 10 students in the state's capital do not graduate on time. A strong early-education program could address that problem, the generals say.

Nebraska is one of several states considering bolstering their early-education programs. I explored some of the state efforts in a recent Education Week article and in an accompanying blog post.

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