How to end poverty, instead of paying lip service

When I ran for Mayor back in 1993, I had two interlinked ideas on helping Daytonians break the cycle of poverty, one was said directly, the other tacitly: provide subsidized, 24 hour daycare as an incentive to live and work in the city, and the tacit part- this will help create a great environment for kids to get a Head Start experience and prep them for school.

You can see those campaign  materias here:

I was written off by the Dayton Daily News as an ad man with nothing much to say back then.

In today’s Dayton Daily News, a new test shows Dayton leads the way in unprepared kids for kindergarten, hmmmm, sound familiar?

Incoming students in Dayton need help
DAYTON — A new statewide test designed to check if kids are ready to start school shows many in the greater Miami Valley will need help to succeed in kindergarten.

A Dayton Daily News study of the data shows a strong link between kindergarten readiness and overall district test performance — the better prepared a community’s incoming kindergarteners are the more likely that district will rate high on its state report card.

Consider Oakwood, consistently among the highest rated area districts. Just 2.7 percent of 147 Oakwood’s 2006 incoming kindergarteners scored low enough to require intervention.

Meanwhile in Dayton, one of the state’s worst-rated districts, 40 percent need immediate intervention, the test showed. That’s among the highest percentages in Ohio. And none of those children had set foot in a district school when they were assessed.

Oakwood is one of Ohio’s wealthiest districts while Dayton is among the poorest. The Daily News study of Ohio corroborated other research showing strong links among income, kindergarten readiness and test performance.

This is one of my core issues that I deeply believe in. I look at tax dollars spent on education as tax dollars well invested. It’s part of my Taxes are Good*™  campaign platform of which you’ll hear more about.  It’s simple economics, or as you’ll also hear from me Because Money Matters™ I believe it’s in our best interests to invest in things that pay back over the long term instead of, well, stuff that doesn’t.

Every dollar spent on education helps us reduce the welfare rolls and prison population and pays back by providing us a better workforce of which we can reap more taxes. When taxes are well invested instead of spent unwisely, we get the Government we think we want, instead of the one that’s bought.

The real problem, is we need to educate our “best and brightest” in Washington that paying for education is smarter than letting the system let a CEO “earn” multi-millions in a year while his company loses money and he lays off people, who end up costing the Government either in unemployment or lost taxes from lost wages.

The moral of the story: we have to educate the rich people about how taking care of poor people is a more cost efficient proposition when the poor are able to do for themselves.

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