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ERIC Number: ED542599
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Chartering Pre-K: How Natural Synergies between the Charter and Pre-K Movements Can Improve Public Education. Viewpoint
Mead, Sara
National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NJ1)
Both the charter school and universal pre-K movements have grown substantially during the past 10 years. Nearly 5,000 charter schools now exist in 40 states and the District of Columbia, serving some 1.6 million students--up from 2,300 schools serving 580,000 students only a decade ago. The growth in state pre-kindergarten enrollments has paralleled the growth of charter schools. From 2001-2009, the number of children enrolled in state pre-K programs rose from 700,000 to more than 1.2 million, and state spending on pre-kindergarten more than doubled, from $2.4 billion to $5 billion. The charter and pre-K movements have progressed on largely separate tracks. A silo effect in our education policies and institutions tends to segregate issues related to the education of our youngest children from those related to the K-12 public schools. There is limited overlap between the organizations and leaders who champion charter schools and those who advocate on behalf of pre-K programs. This is unfortunate, because the charter school and universal prekindergarten movements actually have a great deal in common. Both the charter and pre-K movements seek to improve children's educational outcomes and close achievement gaps for low-income and minority youngsters. More fundamentally, each of these movements seeks to expand the boundaries of public education--the charter school movement by enabling new providers to deliver public education, and the universal pre-K movement by extending public education to 3- and 4-year-olds. And both movements face similar challenges related to accountability, ensuring quality across diverse providers, building supply, and accessing funding and facilities. This paper explores how natural synergies between the charter and pre-K movements can help both movements to be even more effective in improving public education. (Contains 5 endnotes.)
National Association of Charter School Authorizers. 105 West Adams Street Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 312-376-2300; Fax: 312-376-2400; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Charter School Authorizers