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As an educator, I appreciate the recent letters about challenges with student behavior in our schools. We all benefit — educators and community members — when individuals speak up. In her recent letter, "Parents must deal with misbehavior," Yvonne Mccallister supports sending children home when they cannot behave at school. Unfortunately, doing so will only make things worse for the child, more difficult for the family, and ensure that problems amplify for the school.

A proven way to address and prevent future disrupted learning in our schools is through more early learning classrooms and high-quality child care opportunities for our families in our community. Preschoolers in high-quality educational programs improve in behavioral flexibility, impulse control, emotional control, working memory, prioritizing, and planning. Moreover, educators who run such programs work to engage families early on in the educational journey, developing a critical partnership between home and school.

Investment through quality early learning programs saves taxpayer money due to the fact that less money is needed for special programs, behavior support, and academic interventions in subsequent years. We need to commit ourselves to the wisest investment in educational dollars which will have the greatest return for our children, our schools, and our community.

Ninety percent of a child's brain is developed before they enter kindergarten. This is not the time to give up on our children; rather it's the time to redouble our efforts and set a course for lifetime success.

Katy Allaback

Albany (June 17)

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