A University of Cincinnati study suggests Cincinnati could save $48 million if its Preschool Promise plan is successful.
The UC Economics Center report finds the economic benefit per three-year-old class could be as large as $69.1 million if all students enrolled in the plan. However, it says similar programs in other cities usually have about 70 percent participation - leading to the $48.4 million estimate.
The Preschool Promise aims to make sure all three-year old's get two years of quality preschool before kindergarten.
When local business, school and city officials announced the program last spring, they estimated it would cost $6 - 9 million dollars per year.
From the UC study:
Public Savings and Benefits from Quality Preschool
Average savings per student
Reductions in school system expenditures.
- Reduced need for special education and grade retention
Reduction in teacher costs.
- Reduced costs of hiring and retaining teachers, substitute teachers, spending on school security, and state spending on improving achievement
Increase in parental taxes.
- Freeing up time for parents to enter the labor market, resulting in increased sales and income tax revenues
Reduced crime and criminal justice costs.
- Substantially reduced criminal activity, thus reducing costs on the criminal justice system
Reduced health care and social service costs.
- Quality preschool programs have been shown to provide public gains associated with health screening, immunization, and nutrition, which may be delivered directly through the program or as a result of higher family incomes
Increase in student taxes (income and sales) over a 47 year work life
The total average annual benefits per enrollee
The Economics Center will conduct a second phase which will evaluate the costs of providing universal, quality preschool. Completion of this phase of the study will yield a full cost/benefit analysis of the Cincinnati Preschool Promise.