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Business leaders tout value of early education funding

Posted November 13, 2012

— A group of North Carolina business leaders on Tuesday called on policy makers to better fund early childhood education, citing a new study that shows investing in early learning is key to economic growth.

Every dollar put into early care and education statewide nets $1.91 in new spending in sectors ranging from retail to transportation, according to the study released Tuesday by America’s Edge, a member organization of business leaders that advocates for programs that strengthen the future workforce.

The report, commissioned by America’s Edge, also said an additional $2.3 billion spent in North Carolina on quality early care and education would generate a return of $4.4 billion in new spending for businesses in the state.

“We’re here today to urge Gov.-elect (Pat) McCrory and our incoming state Legislature to carefully review the report prepared by America's Edge, evaluate the benefits of early childhood education and give a high priority to investments in early learning as they craft our state’s future,” said Harvey Schmitt, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. “We need their leadership.”

Speaking during a news conference at Happy Face Preschool in Raleigh, Schmitt also exhorted the federal delegation to boost funding for programs such as Head Start and Community Development Block Grants.

Schmitt was joined by Rick McNeel, president and chief executive officer of LORD Corp.; Tony Marshall, president and CEO of Innovative Systems Inc.; Brenda Berg, founder of Scandinavian Child; John Metcalf, senior associate of John P. Miller and Associates; Machelle Sanders, general manager and vice president of manufacturing for Biogen Inc.; and Susan Gates, national director of America’s Edge.

“Too many young people simply are not getting the training and education they need, and too many are dropping out of school,” Sanders said.“That’s costing our business, and that’s costing our economy.”

Schmitt said the organization released the report after Election Day because members wanted the message to come from the business community without a “political filter.”


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  • storchheim Nov 14, 2012

    Once again godless, you know what I mean. I mean stop paying babymamas to breed.

    Your turn. You know better than I do, so what's the answer?

  • BernsteinIII Nov 14, 2012

    Have you read the "study"? It's a joke. It's not a study at all. And it's not published in *any* reputable Journal.

    The "study" was commissioned by America's Edge and surprise, its pseudo-findings align with America's Edge's message.

    America's Edge is front for something, not sure what. Need to follow the money...

  • aspenstreet1717 Nov 14, 2012

    Hmmm throw more money at the problem is alive and well. Does not work but sounds good. If you can't teach your children the basics before school maybe you should not have children?

  • godnessgracious2 Nov 13, 2012

    It's the lack of parental involvement that is the reason kids are dropping out of school

    Well, it's not a like a man can support a family anymore with a full time job. Everybody has got to work now, and still many working families struggle to make ends meet. Corporate profits just hit an all time high, while wages just hit an all time low. If these businesses are going to make us all work two jobs just to feed our families, we might as well tax them more and make the investments that they themselves are asking for.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 13, 2012

    "Business leaders can provide free child care to their employees or maybe give them a raise. That might help economic growth."

    NOt going to happen. They have to fork over a lot more money due to ObamaCare. Not only will raises be tight to non-existent, you will be seeing more and more layoffs and more and more full-time positions eliminated in favor of part time. Then of course the Dems will have to increase or add even more taxes to pay for ObamaCare.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 13, 2012

    What nonsense. If it were true that government programs and spending generated ALL OF THIS economic activity, then we should have an unemployment rate of zero and no government at any level should have debt. Follow the money, I have no doubt that these so-called Business leaders are the direct beneficiaries of Government dollars. By the way, with all these people on food stamps, again why is the economy not roaring along. According to the lovely Pelosi we were getting all kinds of additional economic activity from food stamps. Same dumb claim, for every dollar of food stamps it created x additional dollars in the economy. Bottom line, when you take a dollar from me, I can not spend it. worse yet, when you BORROW that dollar in addition to the dollar you took from me, now I have to fork over more money to service the debt. It is time to end ALL government funding of these babysitting services.

  • ICTrue Nov 13, 2012

    "Business leaders can provide free child care to their employees or maybe give them a raise. That might help economic growth." okayiquit

    What the heck, if they think everyone should have it, let them provide it for everyone.

  • changedmyname Nov 13, 2012

    Business leaders can provide free child care to their employees or maybe give them a raise. That might help economic growth.

  • ICTrue Nov 13, 2012

    K-12 is all that the taxpayers are responsible for. If parents want early childhood education, it's out there, feel free to pay for it. If you can't afford it, then lobby these local business leaders to pay for it. Or, God forbid, try teaching your own child something. We're talking about three and four year olds here.

  • jlhpcarew Nov 13, 2012

    "studies" have also shown that all benefits from government funded daycare essentially disappear by the time the child hits 2nd grade. It's the lack of parental involvement that is the reason kids are dropping out of school, not the lack of educational opportunities. If these business leaders want more funding, then pony up their own cash. I am sick and tired of having other people tell me what I can and can't do with my own hard earned income. Taxes WILL be going up with Obamacare and the fiscal cliff facing us as it is.