Education Report Roundup

Pre-K Study Shows Good and Bad News

By Linda Jacobson — March 25, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Other key findings include the first increase in overall per-pupil spending since the report was initially released. The average amount spent per child, $3,642, however, is still $700 less than the level spent in 2001-02 when adjusted for inflation, the report says. The spending trends, according to the report, suggest “that states are struggling to maintain spending levels in light of enrollment increases and inflation.”

More than 1 million 3- and 4-year-olds now attend public preschool programs in the United States, but 12 states still don’t have publicly financed programs, according to the newest yearbook from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

Released annually since 2004, the report tracks state developments in offering early-childhood-education programs. It ranks states on the percentage of eligible children enrolled and on 10 measures of quality, such as having teachers with bachelor’s degrees, providing comprehensive services in addition to education activities, and providing nutritious meals.

The report also takes a particularly close look at four states—California, Florida, Ohio, and Texas—which enroll the bulk of children served in those programs, but meet fewer than half the 10 quality benchmarks.

“The nation made progress this year, but when you dig deep into the data, the picture is not so rosy,” W. Steven Barnett, the director of the institute, said in a statement.

Among the children who still don’t attend government-financed preschool, he added, most are from middle-class families that cannot afford expensive private preschools.

“States must decide whether education of young children will continue to be a welfare program for the poor or an essential investment in all Americans,” Mr. Barnett said.

Other key findings include the first increase in overall per-pupil spending since the report was initially released. The average amount spent per child, $3,642, however, is still $700 less than the level spent in 2001-02 when adjusted for inflation, the report says. The spending trends, according to the report, suggest “that states are struggling to maintain spending levels in light of enrollment increases and inflation.”

See Also

For background, previous stories, and Web links, read Prekindergarten.

A version of this article appeared in the March 26, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week