State funding for preschool has increased by 12 percent, or $672 million, since the 2013-2014 school year, according to a report by the Colorado-based state policy think tank, Education Commission of the States.
This year’s increase builds on a 6.9 percent funding increases from 2012-13 to 2013-14, according to commission’s annual report, released in January. Twenty-eight of the 44 states and the District of Columbia which provide public preschool funding increased their investments. Funding remained flat in 11 states, and five states—Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Florida and Maine—reduced funding.
California led the states that increased funding with an additional $397.5 million, a 78.6 percent increase over the previous year. The state’s budget agreement calls for the creation of 11,500 new full-day, full-year preschool slots in the coming year.
Hawaii and Indiana joined the group of state investing in early education for the first time this year. In the coming year, Hawaii will provide 420 preschool spots and Indiana will cover preschool costs for 414 low-income 4 year olds.
More than half of the states offering state-funded preschool had a Republican governor. Twenty-five of the 44 preschool states are led by Republicans, while the other 19 are led by Democrats.
For more details, including a complete breakdown of funding levels for each state, read the whole report here.
Map: Courtesy Education Commission of the States
[CORRECTION: The original version of this post included incorrect dates for when the funding increases were recorded. A 12 percent increase was recorded from 2013-14 to 2014-15. A 6.9 increase was recorded from 2012-13 to 2013-14.]
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.