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Article posted: 6/20/2013 5:00 AM

Mandate preschool attendance for all

Failures are much more expensive than schooling. I am concerned that reasons for not lowering the age Illinois children must attend school are ever listened too. Socialization, behavioral adjustment and academics are much easier mastered when they are introduced at the earliest age possible. Cost should be the most important issue; the cost of a lifetime criminal is much more than $1 million per prisoner. What is the average level of education for most prisoners?

I do believe the answer to the last question underwrites the value of enrolling students at the earliest age possible. Every student should be enrolled in a preschool program by the age of 4. Reams of research support that statement. An examination of the academic success of criminals and gang members would answer the question of why there are so many kids being killed by violence in Chicago. There is a sharp, inversely proportional ratio of academic success to participation in criminal activity.

I urge our elected leaders to enact legislation that addresses so many problems with one rule. Having mandatory school attendance set at 7 years of age is unenlightened. Preschool for all is infinitely more cost effective than prison.

Every child's life has an equal value at birth. Illinois kids should have an equal chance to be successful as adults -- even if they live in a state with the worst economic conditions in the union. Gee, could it be inferred that our low requirement for learning in Illinois could have a correlation with the other "weak" conditions in our fine state?

Alan P. Murdoch

Arlington Heights

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