The chairman of the Business Council of Alabama’s Education and Workforce Preparedness Committee, Bob Powers, is quoted in today’s New York Times, on what Alabama’s business community in partnership with the Business Education Alliance is doing to give all of the state’s four-year-olds a chance to succeed.
“The evidence is, if we don’t make this investment and we don’t make it wisely we’re going to pay for it later.”
The BCA has and will continue to support and educate its members on the importance of pre-kindergarten programs in Alabama.
When W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institure for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University, spoke to the BCA Board of Directors at a special business education alliance policy forum last year, he said, Alabama has an advantage, because its First Class Pre-Kindergarten program is in place and is “very high quality. It just needs to be available to more kids, and the business community understands that.”
When a state doesn’t invest adequately in educating its youngest
children in quality pre-kindergarten programs, the long-term effects can
result in widening achievement gaps, increased healthcare cost, and
additional burdens on business.
BCA president and CEO William J. Canary regularly advocates for pre-k
as he travels the state speaking to chambers of commerce and visiting
with business groups.
“Alabama’s voluntary First Class Pre-k
program is ranked as one of the best in the country and the BCA will
continue to advocate for increased funding,” Canary said. “Every $1
spent on high-quality pre-k programs creates $7-$9 in future savings to
the communities and states that invest. Children with quality early
learning opportunities are more likely to read at grade level, graduate
from high school, earn more money and contribute more tax dollars, as
well as becoming more productive members of the business community.”
– Joshua Vaughn
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net