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There’s a raging debate on health care right now. Issues of access, coverage, and cost are dominating newspaper headlines, social media channels, and even sports radio programming.

One thing that’s not being discussed enough, however, is the influence of quality public education on health outcomes. Yet research from James Heckman, the Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economics, demonstrates the positive impact of early childhood development on health, as well as on economic and social outcomes.

This is just one example of the critical relationship between education and so many of the pressing societal and economic issues facing our communities. That theme emerged over and over in Ed Trust President and CEO John B. King Jr.’s wide-ranging interview with organizer and social justice activist DeRay Mckesson this week. In addition to the evidence behind investing in early childhood education as a way of reaping long-term benefits, the two leaders covered the debate around charter schools; the role of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, in promoting opportunity and achievement for all students, especially the most vulnerable; and the value and importance of giving students second chances.

“We’ve got to think about what success looks like for every child, regardless of what challenges they bring with them,” King said. “And how do we as a society make sure we don’t throw any kids lives away — even the ones that have gotten into trouble?”

Listen to the full Pod Save the People podcast here.

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