, Salem, MA


April 12, 2014

Walsh: A return on investment for Salem schools


In addition, multi-state studies have shown a statistically significant reduction in the need for special education services on the part of Parent-Child graduates as opposed to similar students lacking the program (14 percent Parent-Child vs. 39 percent others).

The great news about Parent-Child is also that it is relatively inexpensive. In Salem, the cost for one family to participate is currently about $2,500. This means that a one-time $2,500 expense currently reaps an ongoing $10,800 annual savings for each child not referred for Special Education services. Talk about a return on investment!

Program coordinator Joyce Parent currently has seven home visitors, two of whom are able to provide the program in Spanish. Three of the current home visitors are former program participants who bring an evangelical fervor to bringing what worked for them into the lives of people whose situation is just like their own was. Interested readers can visit the Parent-Child website,, to learn more.

Salem could probably double or triple the size of this “little engine that works” if we exercise the will to fund it. The drama currently affecting our city is over radical “cures” that may or may not pay off in the long run; “cures” that are test-score based to the virtual exclusion of all other factors that separate “education” from “training.” Perhaps, we need to devote more resources to preventive early childhood programs such as Parent-Child and expanded preschool opportunities that make many expensive “cures” unnecessary.

That would be the long view and, in my opinion, the wise view.

Brendan Walsh is a member of the Salem School Committee.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate