Report | June 1, 2013

How Pre-K Helps National Security

High-quality early childhood education saves billions while strengthening our military and our nation

Alarmingly, the Department of Defense estimates that more than 70% of all young Americans are unable to join the military, primarily because they are too poorly educated, have a serious criminal record, or are too overweight. More than 1 in 5 high school graduates who tried to join the Army could not score high enough on the military’s entrance exam to be allowed to serve.

While trends in education reform come and go, research shows that there is a solution that is consistently proven over time. High-quality early childhood education can prepare children to start school ready to learn. It can improve student performance, boost high school graduation rates, deter youth from crime, and, by helping children develop healthy early exercise and good nutrition habits, even help reduce childhood obesity rates.

We cannot afford to start turning our defense systems over to individuals who are poorly educated, have criminal records, or suffer from obesity.

Admiral Gregory G. ‘Grog’ Johnson (Ret.) U.S. Navy

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