Representatives from the Los Gatos Police Department recently traveled to Sacramento to request elected officials provide additional funding for youth-based programs. Namely, they would like to see a greater focus on things that keep kids in schools and away from criminal activity.
Los Gatos Police Chief Scott Seaman was among those who made the trip. He is part of a larger group focused on investing in kids as a means of keeping them away from crime. The group, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California asked both Democratic and Republican legislators to reallocate funding to programs for kids. These programs are aimed at increasing educational opportunities. Scientists have concluded that early-education helps reduce high school drop-out rates. They also show correlations to reduced expulsions and suspensions.
Studies show that children who are provided these opportunities at an early age are more likely to do well in school and attain their diplomas. Persons who achieve higher educational benchmarks are also less likely to engage in unlawful activity.
In 2012, more than $54 million was reportedly cut from statewide pre-kindergarten classroom funding. This denied more than 12,000 pre-K children access to learning opportunities.
It is unclear when the legislature will begin planning next year’s educational budgets. The matter will continue to be contentious, as educators from throughout the state are requesting that funding be restored.