(Harrisburg) -- A new statewide coalition has formed to advocate for greater access to pre-kindergarten.
The "Pre-K for PA" campaign says children who participate in high-quality early learning programs are 44 percent more likely to graduate high school.
York Police Chief Wes Kahley is backing the campaign. He says today's dropouts are far too often tomorrow's criminals.
"High school drop outs are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be arrested and 8 times more likely to be incarcerated," he explains. "In fact, throughout the country, 68 percent of state prison inmates have not received a high school diploma."
The campaign is being spearheaded by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. It says only 15.9 percent of all three and four year-olds in Pennsylvania have access to publicly funded pre-k.
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