Formula for Success: Adding High-Quality Pre-K to State School Funding Formulas

  • May 27, 2010
  • Pre-K Now
  • By Ellen Boylan and Shad White

Families, teachers and policy makers increasingly understand that high-quality pre-kindergarten is a critical part of children's educational experience. In 13 states and the District of Columbia, this recognition is reflected in the choice to finance pre-k programs through the school funding formula. A new report from Pre-K Now, Formula for Success, co-written with the Education Law Center, discusses the benefits and challenges of integrating early education into states' general education funding structures to support pre-k and explores the different models for employing such a strategy. The report also addresses:

  • Overview of school funding formulas
  • Benefits of funding pre-k through the school funding formula
  • How states fund pre-k through the school funding formula
  • Challenges of funding pre-k through the school funding formula
  • Ten key policies that should inform state and district efforts to include early learning in their formulas.
When the right policies are in place, the school funding formula offers the best options for providing pre-k programs with secure, sustainable and adequate funding that supports quality and growth over time.