Study Points to Drop in Per-Pupil Spending for Pre-K
Decrease comes as enrollment doubles
Enrollment in state-funded preschool programs has more than doubled over the past decade—ticking upward even through the recession years—but an accompanying slide in per-child spending in many states is threatening the quality of early-childhood programs designed to serve poor children, according to a new national report .
In 2010-11, 26 of the 39 states with public prekindergarten programs, which serve mostly low-income 4-year-olds, cut funding for an overall decline of $60 million from the previous year. It’s the second straight year that overall investment in state preschool programs has fallen, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research , which last week released its 10th annual report on the state of preschool. The drop in spending in 2010-11, coupled with a modest boost in enrollment, caused per-child spending in state prekindergarten programs to decrease by $145 from the previous year.
Further cuts have stung prekindergarten programs in the current school year, and a slate of proposed reductions are on tap again for 2012-13,...
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