Ive been thinking alot about this lately as the area schools are having budget issues. Teachers and other staff are being laid off, programs are being cut, budgets are being pared down to the bare bones it seems. My thoughts have always been that I would much rather my tax dollars go to pay for a childs education then to have that child short changed and end up in a prison cell where I will still have to pay for him or her. But they will not be a contributing member of society. Here is a link to an article about the high price of a year in prison http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5215TW20090302 "It estimated states spent a record $51.7 billion on corrections in fiscal year 2008 and incarcerating one inmate cost them, on average, $29,000 a year. But the average annual cost of managing an offender through probation was $1,250 and through parole $2,750." Figures that Ive read in my state for educating a student for one school year have been anywhere from $8000-$13,000. If people can get a good education and a good job there will be much less chance that they will commit crimes, become addicted to drugs. They will have hope for their future instead of hopelessness.