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ERIC Number: ED541941
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 157
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: 0-9749-9109-0
The State of Preschool 2012: State Preschool Yearbook
Barnett, W. Steven; Carolan, Megan E.; Fitzgerald, Jen; Squires, James H.
National Institute for Early Education Research
The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for America's children. To some extent this reflects the effects on state governments of the worst economic downturn most living Americans have ever experienced. Yet, this is not the whole story. The 2011-2012 results also reflect the effects of long-term trends that predate the Great Recession and have moved in the wrong direction over an entire decade. This year's report shows that as states emerge from the recession, pre-K continues to suffer, even as the number of students whose families lack the means to provide them with high-quality preschool education programs has increased to an all time high. Much work remains to be done to put pre-K back on track. Appropriations for 2012-2013 were up modestly, though how well actual expenditures track these figures remains to be seen. Reports on proposed state budgets for 2013-2014 are also hopeful, though nothing we have seen indicates that pre-K nationally has fully recovered from past cuts, much less reversed the negative trend in funding per child. Indeed, the most positive recent development may be at the federal level. The president put pre-K on the national agenda in his State of the Union address and subsequently proposed to provide states with $75 billion in matching funds to increase access to high-quality pre-K over the next 10 years. Recent updates include: (1) Total state funding for pre-K programs decreased by more than $548 million across the 40 states that offer pre-K; (2) State pre-K funding per child decreased by $442 (inflation-adjusted) from the previous year to $3,841; (3) State funding per child for pre-K declined in 27 of 40 states with programs, when adjusted for inflation; (4) For the first time we include Arizona's First Things First Prekindergarten Scholarships; (5) Only 15 states plus D.C. could be verified as providing enough per-child funding to meet all 10 benchmarks for quality standards; (6) More than 1.3 million children attended state-funded pre-K, 1.1 million at age 4; (7) Enrollment increased by fewer than 10,000 children, which was not enough to offset population growth and increase the percentage of children served; (8) Combining general and special education enrollments, 31 percent of 4-year-olds and 7 percent of 3-year-olds are served by public pre-K; (9) Seventeen states--fewer than half--plus D.C. increased enrollments; (10) Three programs improved against NIEER's Quality Standards Benchmarks checklist, while seven fell back; (11) Four states plus one of Louisiana's three programs met all 10 of NIEER's benchmarks for state pre-K quality standards, down from five states the previous year. Another 16 states met eight or more; (12) More than half a million children, or 42 percent of nationwide enrollment, were served in programs that met fewer than half of the quality standards benchmarks; and (13) For the first time we list additional rankings that compare Washington, D.C. to the states while recognizing its special status. A glossary is included. (Contains 2 figures, 7 tables, and 16 footnotes.) [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the Tulsa Community Foundation.]
National Institute for Early Education Research. Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, 73 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Tel: 848-932-4350; Fax: 732-932-4360; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Fund for New Jersey; Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Prudential Foundation; Schumann Fund for New Jersey; Smith Richardson Foundation; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Institute for Early Education Research
IES Cited: ED545098