SOURCE: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Mission: Readiness

December 10, 2014 14:08 ET

Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin Makes Law and Order Case for Quality Early Learning at White House

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - December 10, 2014) - Joining a panel of guests for a White House Summit in Washington, D.C. today, Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin made a law-and-order case for the value of early childhood education.

The Summit was the venue for the unveiling of Invest in US, a campaign launched in partnership with the First Five Years Fund and its philanthropic partners to galvanize the voices and resources of business leaders, child advocates, elected officials and the public to expand access to high quality early childhood experiences.

While scientists, educators, economists and public health experts have long argued for the value of quality early childhood experiences for school readiness, Sheriff Martin brought a professional and personal perspective to the impact on crime reduction and taxpayer savings.

"I'm representing more than 5,000 law enforcement leaders who are part of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids who realize we can't arrest our way out of crime problems," Martin said. "I'm also a very conservative, Republican-elected sheriff, and if I have to answer questions about why I'm at the White House today it's because this is a bipartisan issue that impacts our kids, our crime rates and our quality of life. With 34 years of law enforcement experience and someone who's married to a school intervention specialist, I hope you'll take my word that quality early childhood experiences are vital for ensuring kids are prepared for success in school, thereby boosting high school graduation and reducing the chances young people will become involved crime.

"But you can also look at the research, and recognize that seven out of every 10 state prison inmates don't have a high school diploma. You should also know that one-third of my budget is assigned to the jails, where I encounter people who got onto the wrong path long ago. As a taxpayer and as someone who wants to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars I assure you law enforcement leaders nationwide would much rather see young people in caps and gowns than handcuffs and jumpsuits. Expanding quality early childhood education is the first step for making that happen."

Sheriff Martin was joined on the panel by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, W.K. Kellogg Foundation President La June Montgomery, Cleveland Public Schools CEO Eric Gordon, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa, the Courtney Sale Ross Professor of Globalization and Education at NYU Steinhardt.

To learn more about Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and the crime reduction impact of early childhood education, visit www.fightcrime.org. To learn more about Invest in US, go to http://finance.yahoo.com/news/president-obama-announces-over-1-110000982.html;_ylt=AwrSyCThlYhUnBAAkhyTmYlQ

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is an anti-crime organization of nearly 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and violence survivors. We take a hard look at the research about what prevents kids from becoming criminals and put that information in the hands of policymakers and the general public.

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