For the fourth-straight year, state spending on publicly funded preschool has increased, according to the latest report by the Education Commission of the States, a state education policy think tank.
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia increased spending on preschool, while only five states decreased funding. Of the states that made increases, 22 had Republican governors and 10 had Democratic governors. Overall, spending increased by 12 percent over 2014-15 to a total of $7 billion in 2015-16.
The District of Columbia spends $12,407, far and away the most per preschool-age resident. The other states all spend less than $1,500, though some cities, like Boston, New York, and Tulsa, have separate budgets that significantly supplement state funds.
Three years ago, 11 states did not fund preschool at all. This year, there are only five holdouts: Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
A version of this article appeared in the February 10, 2016 edition of Education Week as Early Education