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Editorial: Early education truly matters

Early childhood education provides the best bang for the buck. Art Rolnick, the former leader of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, made that case loudly and clearly years ago.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan joined the chorus, as Wednesday’s headline read, during several appearances Tuesday in a state that places a growing premium on early learning.

Rolnick’s math was right-on long ago. Studies today show that for every dollar spent on teaching children, we’ll get a $7 return in the form of less crime, fewer welfare payments and better-trained workers.

Minnesota will provide $40 million in preschool scholarships in next state budget. That could amount to $280 million the state can spend elsewhere or refund to taxpayers years from now.

Early intervention, long-term gain. That’s sound economic advice.