I recently (January 11, 2011) gave a speech on the case for investing in preschool to the Detroit Area Grantmakers of the Council of Michigan Foundations. This speech has recently been posted at the Upjohn Institute website.
The speech includes some Michigan-specific numbers on the need for preschool investment. However, most of the speech is applicable to any state. The numbers reported for Michigan could easily be adapted to other states.
In any event, if you’re interested, click through to read the speech. The speech provides a useful summary, of about 2500 words, of the case for preschool investment as a way to promote state economic development.
The speech should not be interpreted as meaning that I am not in favor of investing in programs other than preschool. The focus on preschool is due to the time allotted for the speech. As outlined in my book Investing in Kids, I think the evidence is also strong that there are economic development payoffs for a state economy, in excess of costs, for the Nurse Family Partnership program and for high-quality full-time child care and preschool.