St. Louis' High Black Death Rate: New Research on Poverty, Education Links, Cost of Fatalities

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One recommendation is to "invest in quality early-childhood development for all children."

The report explains:

The impact of early childhood investments on educational, economic, and health outcomes is substantial. Every $1 invested in early childhood returns $7 of benefit for society according to the National Institute for Early Childhood Education Research. And in addition to better educational outcomes, children who participate in high-quality early childhood programs have better health behaviors and health outcomes as adults than those who do not.

Well-designed programs, the report explains, include small classes, significant time spent on instruction and support that prepares children for school, school-family partnerships, an emphasis on social and emotional development, a focus on mental health and more.

Of early-childhood development efforts, he says, "That's one of the most powerful investments we can make. It has both economic and health impacts."

The report goes on to prescribe targeted investments in this category, such as reversing the nearly $10 million in cuts to early childhood programs in the state budget.

A second recommendation is to "help low- to moderate-income families create economic opportunities," with the report arguing that college savings accounts should be universally available for children at birth and financial advice and services should be easily accessible to families at all income levels.

Purnell says he hopes that those who read his study would be encouraged to weigh in and offer their own perspectives.

"We want the input of the community on refining this set of recommendations and coming together around an agenda for moving these policy recommendations forward," he says. "This brief should be considered a conversation starter and not an end product."

Here's the full policy brief and appendix.

Policy Brief 1


Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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