States will spend roughly $525 million in new money on public prekindergarten programs in the 2008 fiscal year, bringing the total annual amount to almost $5 billion, estimates a report from Pre-K Now, a Washington-based advocacy group for early-childhood education.
The annual report examines trends in state spending on early education. It notes that 28 states have increased spending on pre-K programs this year, and another eight, plus the District of Columbia, are expected to increase spending. Two states—Arizona and Missouri—have kept funding at roughly the same levels for the past two years.
The report points out that only one state, Florida, has decreased its pre-K budget, from $390 million in fiscal 2007 to $376 million for fiscal 2008.