ERIC Number: ED463062
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Focus on Quality: Prekindergarten Programs in SREB States.
Denton, David R.
This issue of the Focus series published by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) provides an overview of how all state prekindergarten programs in the SREB region are performing on three measures of program quality: (1) class size; (2) ratio of students to instructional staff; and (3) instructional staff qualifications. Findings indicate that of the 14 SREB states with state-funded prekindergarten programs in 2001-2002, 12 met or exceeded the recommended child-to-staff ratio of 10:1 and maximum class size of 20. Ten states require every lead teacher to have at least a bachelor's degree in early childhood; nine of those also require every teacher to hold state teacher certification. The two programs that had required teachers to have only the entry-level Child Development Associate credential, Delaware and Georgia, are both planning to increase their teacher standards. Several states give prekindergarten funds to districts, which can decide to offer programs directly or to contract with community providers. Only two of these, Florida and Virginia, allow community providers to use teachers who do not meet the same qualifications as school-based programs. The North Carolina legislature authorized and provided funding in 2001 to develop a program for at-risk 4-year-olds. The Tennessee legislature in 2001 authorized an expansion of its small prekindergarten pilot program but provided no funding. In West Virginia, districts must locate their own funding for the prekindergarten start-up year but the program is included in the regular funding formula for schools in subsequent years. A table delineates the maximum child-to-staff ratio, maximum class size, and minimum qualifications of instructional staff for each of the 16 SREB states. (KB)
Descriptors: Class Size, Educational Quality, Preschool Education, Preschool Teachers, Program Descriptions, Teacher Qualifications, Teacher Student Ratio
Southern Regional Education Board, 592 10th St., N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318. Tel: 404-875-9211; Web site: http://www.sreb.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA.