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Federal and state investment in early childhood development programs could result in tremendous returns: more than eight dollars in benefits to society for each dollar invested, according to a study released by the Fiscal Policy Institute last week. With more than one million children in New York State now in poverty, the report states, investing in education for poor 3- and 4-year-old children early on would reduce the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on remedial and special education programs and reduce crime rates and poverty. That, in turn, would increase productivity and economic growth, bringing in more tax revenues and strengthening public programs such as Social Security. [10/25/04]

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