"Pre-K Counts in Pennsylvania for Youngsters' Early School Success: Authentic Outcomes for an Innovative Prevention and Promotion Initiative"
Enrolling in prekindergarten programs can sharply reduce the special education enrollment rate among at-risk students, a new report finds.
The study, from the University of Pittsburgh’s Early Childhood Partnerships Program, focused over a three-year span on 10,000 Pennsylvania children raised in poverty and enrolled in programs covered by Pre-K Counts, a state program that provides full- and half-day prekindergarten programs for disadvantaged children.
Of the children studied, only 2 percent were later enrolled in special education programs. The historical special education placement rate for high-risk children in participating districts had been 18 percent, the study says.
Funded through a $1 million Heinz Endowment grant, the report also found that all at-risk children made gains in early learning and development in a range of subject areas. Children across all ethnic groups represented in the study made significant gains, the report found, and 80 percent met state competency standards for transition into kindergarten.
Vol. 29, Issue 10, Page 5Published in Print: November 4, 2009, as Pre-Kindergarten Gains