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Local Law Enforcement Says Supporting Pre-K Now Pays off Later

Council for a Strong America held a press conference at Austin ISD’s Uphaus Early Childhood Center on April 21 to support funding Pre-K. 

Austin ISD Police Department Capt. Chris Evoy, Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo and Travis County Sheriffs Office Capt. Frank Lofton spoke on behalf of funding Pre-K, with the message, “We’re the guys you pay later.”

According to “Fight Crime: Invest in Kids,” in Texas, an individual who does not have a high school diploma is more than three times more likely to be incarcerated than a high school graduate.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is an anti-crime organization of nearly 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and violence survivors nationwide, with 182 members in Texas. Its mission is to look at the research about what really works to prevent kids from becoming criminals, and to inform policymakers and the public about that research.  

“When it comes to Pre-K, we can do better, but that won’t happen without a large investment,” Evoy said. “As with everything, quality costs money, and with Pre-K in particular, you really do get what you pay for.”

A study that followed children who participated in high-quality Pre-K and parent coaching programs through Chicago’s Child-Parent Centers found they were 20 percent less likely to be arrested for a felony or be incarcerated as young adults than those who did not attend.

“We can’t arrest our way out of crime. We have to invest in our children,” Acevedo said.

For more information, please visit www.councilforastrongamerica.org. For the full report, visit www.fightcrime.org/texas-report-were-the-guys-you-pay-later.

To learn more about AISD’s Pre-K, visit www.austinisd.org/academics/early-childhood-education/prekindergarten