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Investing in Early Childhood Education

May 7, 2013

On Teacher Appreciation Day, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) takes to the House floor to highlight the need for early childhood education investments for long-term economic prosperity.

Below is video and a transcription of this speech.

"Madame Speaker, I rise today, on National Teacher Appreciation Day, with an often forgotten remedy to our economic downturn: investments in early childhood education.

"Successful nations invest in three things: infrastructure, research and education. To compete in the global market, we need to have the most highly skilled workforce in the world. And to develop that workforce, we have to start at the beginning, with early childhood education.

"Research from Stanford shows that rich students perform better throughout school than middle- and low-income students. Quite simply, they enter kindergarten more prepared, thanks to high-quality preschool. Nobel Laureate economist James Heckman found a seven to ten percent annual return on investment in effective preschool.

"Every child deserves a chance to succeed in school and throughout their lives. Providing early childhood education can give them that chance, and the entire nation will be better off for it.

"Thank you, and I yield back."