NORFOLK – Could early childhood education be a matter of national security? A group known as Mission: Readiness thinks so. Two retired generals from the Amry and Air Force joined Sen. Jim Scheer at Norfolk’s Wesley Center Day Care on Wednesday to read to pre-schoolers and talk about the importance of early childhood education. A recent Mission: Readiness report found that 71% of high school graduates are not military ready, primarily because they aren’t well-educated, are too obese or have poor criminal records. Military officials say the solution to that problem starts early on.
“But there is a solution, we got a problem here. It’s nice that we have a solution to it. That’s why we are issuing this report, a solution about early learning and quality early learning,” says Major General Mark R. Musick
Sen. Jim Scheer was one of the major supporters of the recently passed Nebraska bill LB 547, which added two million dollars in funding to early childhood educators and allows private centers to participate for the first time. Sen. Scheer says while it’s not the whole solution, it is a good start.
“You know, the child’s early development, I think it’s actually the first three years in reference to the brain development. They’re either going to get it, or they’re not,” stated Senator Scheer.
Mission: Readiness officials say early childhood education can help increase graduation numbers as well. They note in their study that 19 percent of Madison County high schoolers do not graduate on time.