Enrollment in state-financed prekindergarten programs has increased nationwide, but average spending per child appears to be dropping, according to a report.
Produced by the New Brunswick, N.J.-based National Institute for Early Education Research, the annual report says that since 2002, enrollment in public prekindergarten programs has climbed 16 percent, from 700,000 3- and 4-year-olds to more than 800,000.
But the report also points out that even though total state spending has increased by 7.5 percent since the institute began tracking the figures in 2002, average spending per child has fallen 7.3 percent, to $3,551, because enrollment outpaced funding.
Published since 2003, the report ranks states on such indicators as access, quality, and resources for prekindergarten programs.
A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of Education Week