The study by the Rand Corporation estimates that the annual dropout rate would decrease by 13% and juvenile court cases by 18% if universal preschool were available.
Folsom Police Chief Sam Spiegel says the numbers are dramatic. "We would be looking at 400 fewer children going into the criminal justice system on an annual basis, just for the capitol region, that’s huge."
The local research follows an earlier statewide Rand study showing a $2.62 return for every dollar invested in universal preschool.
Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon says it’s a wise investment. "Not just something that’s good for kids, it’s good for the whole community and it’s going to produce a better educated workforce."
Supporters are pushing a ballot initiative that would tax high-income residents to fund a universal preschool program. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says the concept needs more study before a big tax is imposed.