Letters to the Editor

A good start

May 1, 2010


To the editor:

In response to last week’s article on early childhood programs, I want to add my support to those who are standing up for these vital services. These programs not only provide an early introduction to learning for young children but also help working parents find quality daytime care for their children. In addition, high-quality early education helps improve public safety.

As district attorney, I see troubled young people end up in the criminal justice system, who might have led very different, and much more productive, lives if they had a better start in life. Early learning opportunities help get kids the right start to their education, improving the odds that they will start school well-prepared, graduate, and become law-abiding citizens.

Investing in early education also saves money. Young people who go on to become career criminals cost the state millions of dollars in corrections and other undesirable expenses. A study of Chicago’s Child Parent Centers found that providing at-risk kids high-quality preschool saved about $70,000 per person through reduced crime, welfare and other costs over time. Those are real savings.

That’s why I advise Kansas lawmakers not to cut early childhood programs in this year’s budget. Yes, we are in tough budget times, but we know investing in early care and education programs for the youngest children will have a positive impact in reducing later crime and delinquency.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 12 months ago

Very thoughtful and fiscally responsible words of wisdom Mr. Branson. Thanks for taking the time out your very busy schedule.

The privatized prison industry seems a lot like corporate welfare. Paying out $50,000-$100,000 per prisoner annually certainly should make our legislators give thought to Bransons words.

Creating new jobs and new industry could also help eliminate a bit of criminal activity. In the interest of our children taxpayers should demanding a new industry. White collar jobs are on the way to other countries. What is america planning on doing about this?

I say let's spend OUR tax dollars on new long term USA employment that does not pollute OUR environment nor provide employment for other governments.

Our college grads and soldiers returning home from the money hole war are not finding what they need in the way of employment.

tomatogrower 7 years, 12 months ago

So someone paid for your education, but you'd rather pay for housing lots of criminals who might have been different if they had a better start in life. Who is fiscally irresponsible now? Or who is a self centered, sociopath who should not be living in a society, and should perhaps go live as a hermit somewhere?

kappyblu 7 years, 12 months ago

Bravo, Mr. District Attorney! Very well written and I totally agree!

jafs 7 years, 12 months ago


You clearly failed to read the article.

It costs less to prevent young people from becoming criminals than it does to deal with them afterwards.

KSManimal 7 years, 12 months ago

Jafs - isn't it funny how you can point out some highly relevant facts to folks like lawrenceguy40, and they will respond with some unrelated babble or simply say what they already said...over and over again. It's like they really can't hear/read anything that doesn't fit their world view - even when it's right in front of them.

At least they're reliable and consistent in their selective uptake of information.

Futile as it may be, I'll say it again: lawrenceguy40, it costs MORE to deal with criminals than it does to take simple steps to prevent people from going down that path.

jafs 7 years, 12 months ago

If it costs less to prevent the kids from becoming criminals, then it would take less tax revenue to do so.

So your taxes would not be increased, and could actually be decreased.

Early education programs have been shown by research to be quite effective.

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