If Illinois lawmakers won't allocate more money for early childhood education on its own merits, perhaps knowing the amount of money at stake could help. That is the message preschool advocates carried to reporters as the state legislature prepares to enter its final five weeks of session. “Our legislators like to look at the big things – that people can see – to spend their money on, rather than things that will bolster our future,” says Collinsville mayor John Miller.
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A study from America's Edge, the supporters hope, will be a step toward making preschool one of those big things. It says every public dollar spent on preschool multiplies at a rate of almost double into the economy. The rate of $1.94 is greater than that for such sectors as retail and construction, the report says.
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