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Release Event: Economic Promise of Investing in High-Quality Preschool

CED's report, The Economic Promise of Investing in High-Quality Preschool: Using Early Education to Improve Economic Growth and the Fiscal Sustainability of States and the Nation, was released at the FedEx Institute of Technology at The University of Memphis in Memphis, TN on June 28, 2006 and in Washington, D.C. on July 25, 2006. The luncheon forums attracted representatives from the local and state business, education, and civic community.

The Washington forum featured keynote remarks from CED Trustee James E. Rohr, Chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. He was joined by Trustees Robert Dugger, Managing Director of Tudor Investment Corporation, and Daniel Rose, Chairman of Rose Associates, Inc. The three served as co-chairs of the CED subcommittee that produced the policy statement. They were followed by a panel discussion with Donna Desrochers, CED Vice President and Director of Education Studies; Noel Epstein, author and former Education Editor at The Washington Post; and Sara Watson, Senior Program Officer, State Policy Initiatives, The Pew Charitable Trusts. The event also featured the release of a list of business leaders from across the country who endorse the recommendations of the report.

The Memphis program featured remarks from Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen; Dr. Shirley Raines, President, University of Memphis; Daniel Rose, Chairman, Rose Associates, Inc.; Ira A. Lipman, Founder and Chairman, Guardsmark, LLC; Susan Urahn, Director of State Policy Initiatives, The Pew Charitable Trusts; and Charles Kolb, CED President. The release also included a tour of the Barbara K. Lipman Early Childhood School and Research Institute at the University of Memphis.

The study, sponsored by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, finds that American children, the United States' economy, and our society can greatly benefit from improved and expanded early childhood education programs. Preschool programs prepare students for early educational success, but investing in high-quality early education also has long-lasting effects, improving students' outcomes well into their adolescent and adult years. Economically, the long-term impacts of preschool programs translate into significant public and private benefits, with returns far exceeding the costs. Generating the expected returns requires investments in high-quality programs employing well-trained teachers that help children develop their academic, social, emotional, and physical skills.