On behalf of many of Maine sheriffs, police chiefs and prosecutors, I would like to send kudos to Senators Susan Collins and Angus King following their recent announcement that Franklin, Oxford and Cumberland Counties will receive $9 million in Head Start funding.

As a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, I know this funding will enable so many youngsters to develop crucial social-emotional, reading and math skills as a foundation for long-term academic achievement and lives free of the criminal justice system.

While that news would be cause enough to celebrate, it’s also great to know this funding will enable our Head Start centers to hire more staff – thereby demonstrating the immediate economic value of early education funding coupled with the long-term impact of spending power that comes with high school and post-secondary degrees.

Thanks also to the educators who are doing so much to ensure our kids do well in all of Maine’s early learning programs. Your efforts are giving our kids a true “head start” toward a lifetime of success.

Scott Nichols, Franklin County Sheriff

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