Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to have an impact

I headed off the the Captiol yesterday afternoon, to testify at a hearing before the Legislature's Education Committee on Legislative Resolution 211, introduced by Omaha-area Senator Rick Kolowski. The resolution is an interim study concerning expanded learning opportunities: programs aimed at enriching activities and educational opportunities for youth outside of the normal classroom setting and school day.

Testimony before the committee is limited to five minutes, but my message was simple. I passed copies of this graph out, and explained that over 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, and chief prosecutors (including 75 in Nebraska) have joined an organization to support expanded learning opportunities, because they understand very well that public safety is enhanced when communities provide kids with great early childhood education and opportunities for productive, instructive, and fun activities throughout the day.

Want to impact this? Start with this.  Fight crime: invest in kids.


Anonymous said...

Stepping in for absent and incompetent parents? Who's supposed to pay for that?

Nick Dean said...

Tom, I was also at the meeting yesterday. Your testimony was perfect. After school programs and extended learning opportunities are the proactive approach that is needed to help young people. I will use your graph in my presentations about our program. Thank you. Nick Dean, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster Co.

Anonymous said...

Here's a better idea when it comes to "paying now": Voluntary surgical sterilization of anyone who wants it, whether male or female, in exchange for a cash lump sum payment after the surgery is completed. That's where you'd get the most bang for your buck. If people who are or would be bad parents were unable to have any kids (or any more kids) in the first place. When you consider the future cost of public education, medicaid, WIC, CHIP, SNAP, etc etc etc, we'd be spending a little up front to save a whole lot later.

We'll all be paying for birth control and abortions under the ACA anyway, so why not voluntary sterilization? Make the post-surgical cash payment enough to cover the amount needed to cover the initial cost on a new SUV lease, and a lot of the problem "parebts" couldn't resist it.

Tom Casady said...


Two answers:

1. Pay me now, or pay me (much more) later. It's pretty inexpensive to keep a City recreation center open in the early evening.

2. It's not always your tax dollars. I think the majority of these kinds of expanded learning opportunities are primary funded by people who voluntarily give. Last I checked, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, BSA and Teammates Mentoring were private non-profits supported by donors, and most youth sports programs were staffed by volunteer coaches, and lots of churches who open their gymnasiums to kids were supported by the congregation.