Up | February 16, 2013
>>> i want to set the table with the kind of iconic study of the long-term effects which is the pre-school study. this is the one that gets cited the most. it is the data, the leading work on early childhood development and the returns on investment to pre-k and early education spending. you know, when you look at the -- randomized study which is why we like it. when you luc at the percentage that enrolled in preschool, 7%, not in preschool, arrests for drug dealing . public assistance , adult, this gets to this investment thing. right? if you are paying early on, keeping people off the public assistance roles later on and recouping that money. 15% in the preschool and 35% not in preschool. higher rates of ownership, much higher rates of 12th grade education. that's the case in a nutshell. that study is the case in the nutshell. i want to bring in senator isakson of georgia . former member of the house education committee. senator, you have a program in your state that you have been a big supporter of that the president himself touted and i wonder -- what was going through your mind when the president gave a shout-out to georgia 's program in the state of the union .
>> well, i had a flashback to 1990 when governor miller and i were proponents and he came up with a 4-year-old voluntary program. he came up with a way to fund that program which was statewide lottery which require ad constitutional amendment and ratification by the people of georgia . we created a dedicated source of funds to fund the 4-year-old pre-kindergarten program. the thought that ran through my mind when the president was speaking is this is a great idea. it is a 6% increase in the number of teachers you have to hire. number of classrooms you have to build. and the amount of money you have to spend. we got to find money to do it.
>> do you think the money can be found? one of the things that's interest sing -- in the sense of cost of the overall federal budget just to give a sense of the money here, estimated the cost of a program like this, again, details matter. roughly in the ballpark, of about $100 billion over ten years. that's about $15 billion a year. just to give a sense of what had a is in the tax extenders package that just got through, the active financing credit, which is a tax loophole for wall street itself alone was $9 billion for this year. it does seem to me that if this is something we want to prioritize, we think it is an for investment, republican or democrat, we can probably find $10 billion a year for it. right?
>> well, you have to remember this. we are $16.5 trillion in debt. deficit running $1.2 trillion a year. we can't afford to add a cost on to government and you have to find the funds to do it. in education, the last big mandate on public/private partnership was i.d.e.a. which mandate ad 40% additional very many by the states and education of kids with disabilities. the practical government promised the money to fund the mandate but to this date only 25% of that money is funded. the states are going to say where's the -- where's the money.
>> this program has been very politically -- good it has been. senator isakson -- one, i have to stop and say thank you for a couple of things. one i want to thank you for your involvement in creating the georgia peach program that helped moms and fathers who were on welfare. you know, to receive subsidies. so that they could go back to work, so that those children can get early childhood education and then the follow-on of volunteer pre-k. my kids benefited from both. in fact, my -- oldest daughter, katherine, was one of the first children to come through the georgia pre-k program. she is at brown. can you --
>> good school.
>> can you not s school. can you not say, senator ice sack son, that the money that would be invested on the front end, certainly -- something i have seen you support and -- you know, glad that you did that. can you not say that the outcomes that finishing high school , that, you know --
>> staying out of prison, decreases in early pregnancy, illicit drug use . all of the other things that become a tax organize weight on our tax base on our society. doesn't that --
>> do you buy this very many case that the -- literature suggests the president made explicit reply in the state of the union ?
>> no. i don't think there is my question but. both in terms of peach care and voluntary 4-year-old pre-k kindergarten program. we do have to find the money to fund it. you can't just hope to pay back comes in dollars. it dmoms a better light for those children, better quality of their health. better quality of their education. we need a pay back to pay the tax dollars that will take to fund the program.
>> senator, i want to -- ask you about where you think the politics of this will go if there will be some enthusiasm for trying to find the money for it. if we think it is a good idea, something we should prioritize and find the money for it. where the politics of this are going to go in washington right after we take this