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States Increase Pre-K Funding for Fourth Straight Year

States Increase Pre-K Funding for Fourth Year Straight Year

Just this year alone, 32 states and the District of Columbia raised public funding for pre-K programs, says a new report from the Education Commission of the States.

The increase in funding has been bipartisan, the report says, as 22 of the states that increased funding have Republican governors while 10 plus D.C. have Democratic governors.

All in all, the report found that funding for preschool programs has increased 12 percent from the year before, an increase of $767 million.

The report speculates that funding for preschool program will continue to grow thanks to the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act that outlines three different ways for states to increase funding.

Interestingly enough, there are still five states that do not invest in preschool at all: Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Wyoming. On a positive note, this number is down from the 11 states that did not invest in preschool programs in 2012.

Only nine states decreased funding to pre-K, and three states stayed the same. Overall, the report found that early education is becoming a priority for most of the country.

Research continually shows the benefits of providing children with quality early education.

"Children who attend pre-k are more likely to be school-ready, which means that schools can reap the benefits of preschool by reducing funds spent on special education and remediation,” the report said.

"The majority of the research indicates that high-quality preschool programs promise impressive returns on investment, and researchers agree that pre-k programs have a high rate of return – improving education outcomes, health effects and economic prosperity for children, families and the nation.”

Read the full report.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/1/2016

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