WAVE 3 Editorial - Aug. 23, 2011 : Children First Priority

By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE-TV Vice President & General Manager

Making Kentucky the best place in the country to raise a child should be a key issue focus in the Kentucky governor's race. The candidate we choose to lead the Commonwealth for the next four years should make it a focal point in making decisions, setting priorities and tackling critical issues.

Investing in infants and toddlers will be returned more than ten-fold. Neglect them and we will pay for life. If 100 children are poor readers after first grade, 88 of them will be poor readers after fourth grade.

Attracting young adults to Louisville rather than Nashville or Indianapolis where greater numbers of young adults are moving is imperative to growth.  Investing in top tier school systems helps.

Each high school dropout costs our economy a quarter of a million dollars over a lifetime through lower tax contributions, higher degrees of criminal activity and greater reliance on government programs. More than 6,000 Kentuckians left high school early last year. Strong leadership is needed not just to reverse this slide but push for more college graduates.

One out of every two Kentuckians between 18 and 24 is overweight or obese – not a good sign for already strained health related budgets so this developing crisis needs to be addressed.

Parenting magazine recently named Louisville the 10th best city in the country to live and raise a family and that is why more young adults than in years past are settling here.  Progress is being made but must be accelerated throughout the Commonwealth by a Governor elect who will make it a priority.

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