Members of two national organizations say high-quality early education is a proactive solution to public safety concerns, and they’ve detailed their support of the issue in recent letters to Minnesota lawmakers.

Alarmed that 69% of young Minnesotans are not qualified to serve in the United States military, the first organization, Mission: Readiness, believes that high-quality early education and childcare is proven to prepare children for success in school and ensure they are qualified for productive citizenship.

The group, comprised of retired military generals and admirals, is a nonprofit national security organization dedicated to ensuring young people are well-educated, healthy, and of high moral character.  Nine local members drafted a letter asking legislators to build the consensus necessary to expand access to high-quality educational services for at-risk children.

The second organization, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, is a nonprofit organization of police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and violence survivors committed to research-based solutions that prevent crime.

In its letter to legislators, members write that high-quality early care and education programs can decrease the chances that a child will become involved in crime later in life and urge lawmakers, “rather than waiting to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate more criminals years from now, we should invest in solutions that can prevent crime in the first place.”

Both groups stand behind high-quality early education as a significant part of the public safety solution and ask legislators to prioritize funding for it in the 2017 Minnesota legislative session.  You can read the full letters below.

Mission: Readiness letter
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids letter