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Reps. Fedor, West introduce resolution calling for universal preschool

Lawmakers say universal preschool sets students up for lifetime of success, reduces incarceration rates
April 26, 2018
Democratic Newsroom

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Thomas West (D-Canton) today introduced a joint resolution to establish universal preschool in Ohio. The proposal would amend the Ohio Constitution to require free, universal preschool for all four and five-year-olds who reside in the Buckeye State.

“If we want to build a healthier, freer and better educated Ohio, we need to fund preschools—not prisons. This is how we get results. From addiction to incarceration, preschool is the answer,” said Rep. Fedor. “Our state spends more than $1 billion on prisons each year. We could send more than 300,000 students to a quality preschool with that sort of money.”

Ohio’s state budget for 2018-2019 allocates $66.7 million for early childhood education. The state spent $1.3 billion on prisons in 2015 alone.

Research suggests that access to early childhood education results in fewer arrests and incarcerations. In addition, universal preschool also has an impact on socioeconomic status, young adult and adult education achievements, health behavior and dropout rates.

“Early investments in early education will return a lifetime of riches for our state,” said Rep. West. “As we put more money into our children on the front-end, we will be saving millions on the back-end.”

If both the Ohio House and Senate pass the resolution with a three-fifths majority, the proposal would go before voters. If approved at the ballot, the language would become part of the Ohio Constitution.

Upon numbering and referral, the proposed resolution will move to a House committee for its initial hearings.