You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Study backs more preschool funding

Clark County officials say early efforts can reduce crime later.

A new study suggests if the same amount of money spent nationally to keep people incarcerated were spent on preschool education, the number people imprisoned could be cut by at least 10 percent.

In Ohio, 80 percent of those in jail or prison don’t have a high school diploma or G.E.D. The study, commissioned by Fight Crime: Invest in Ohio Kids for the National Early Childhood Campaign, cites that number could be much lower if more people participated in quality preschool programs.

The study was presented during a press conference at the Clark County Jail on Wednesday. Sheriff Gene Kelly said likely eight in 10 of his inmates have no high school education, and many of them are repeat offenders. As a member of the Fight Crime agency, which includes law enforcement and judicial officials nationwide, Kelly said he’d rather see federal and state dollars invested in education than building new prisons to house the growing number of people being incarcerated.

“In the next decade, as these kids go through their elementary and high school years, and they look forward to graduation, (I want them) to look forward to a job, not incarceration,” he said.

President Barack Obama proposed spending $75 billion over the next 10 years to improve preschool education nationwide. Such a measure would still have to be approved by Congress and implemented in each state. It’s the same amount of money the nation spends on corrections each year, according to the study. That investment could increase high school graduation rates by 2 million students and reduce the number of those incarcerated by 200,000 people annually. In Ohio, that would mean 5,000 fewer inmates and a savings of $158 million a year in jail and prison costs, according to the study.

If education starts early, with preschool programming, students are more likely to complete school and earn higher degrees that equate to higher pay. Statistically, those with more education are less likely to cause crime and end up in jail, said Cynthia Rees, the Fight Crime director.

However, preschool costs are too high for many families. In the U.S., the average annual cost is $9,076. It’s more affordable in Ohio, with an average cost of $4,586. Springfield Schools’ program at Clark Preschool costs $50 a month— one of the most affordable in the state according to Rees— and accommodates 400 preschool kids, ages 3-5. That amounts to less than half the number of kids who are preschool-aged in Springfield. The problem is too little funding and too little space for the kids, said Dr. David Estrop, district superintendent.

“It’s a whole lot cheaper to avoid incarceration … to invest in them when they are young,” Estrop said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Georgia storms kill 11, injure 23 as threat continues
Georgia storms kill 11, injure 23 as threat continues

Eleven people are dead and 23 are injured after strong storms moved through Georgia Saturday night, into Sunday morning.  State emergency management officials confirm seven of the deaths are in Cook County. Officials with the Brooks County Sheriff's Office confirmed two deaths to Channel 2 Action News. Both people were in the same home in...
Ohio Brownie uses special effects video to help promote Girl Scout cookie season
Ohio Brownie uses special effects video to help promote Girl Scout cookie season

An Ohio Brownie made a video to promote Girl Scouts cookie selling season.  But Yula Douglas of Beavercreek didn't want to make just any video. She wanted the full suite of green screen effects, multiple settings, and even animal actors (it includes pet rats).  Yula scripted and directed the video with a little help from her parents...
Organizers cancel Springfield curling tournament
Organizers cancel Springfield curling tournament

A curling tournament that brought visitors from across the United States and Canada to Springfield has been cancelled. The Champion City Bonspiel, which was held last May at the NTPRD Chiller ice rink, 301 W. Main St. near Curl Troy curling club, won’t be held this year, according to a release on the organization’s website. The decision...
Trump softening tone after slamming celebs, media over Women’s March
Trump softening tone after slamming celebs, media over Women’s March

Then just an hour-and-a-half later, Trump sent another tweet clearly softening his tone toward the protesters. He tweeted "Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views." Trump's tweets came after the White House slammed the media and pop star Madonna...
Rain chances going up as temperatures go down this week
Rain chances going up as temperatures go down this week

Rain chances higher today and even higher Monday Temperatures slowly falling this week Chance for snow returns by the end of the week TODAY: Mostly cloudy with highs in the middle to upper 50s. Chance of rain for the southeast Dayton metro area this evening. TONIGHT: Showers possible. Temperatures falling into the middle 40s. MONDAY: ...
More Stories