Pre-K Funding Up, Despite State Budget Woes

Publication: Education Week

Author: Katie Ash

10/22/2009 - Despite declining revenues and budget shortfalls, state funding for pre-kindergarten is expected to increase by about one percent, or $5.3 billion, nationally in fiscal 2010, says a report from a group that advocates high-quality early-education programs.

In fact, 27 of the 38 states with existing pre-K programs, as well as the District of Columbia, increased or maintained funding for early education in their 2010 budgets, according to the Pew Center on the States’ Pre-K Now campaign, based in Washington. In addition, two states–Alaska and Rhode Island–launched pre-K pilot programs this fiscal year.

“We weren’t sure exactly what we were going to find this year, because the economic situation is so bad in the states,” said the annual report’s project manager, Albert Wat. “But most states that have funded pre-K programs in the past are still prioritizing early education in the state budget and, overall, they ticked up modestly by about one percent.”

Ten states, though, decreased funding for state-led pre-K programs, and another 10 states do not have state-funded early-education programs in place, according to the report, “Votes Count: Legislative Action on Pre-K Fiscal Year 2010.”

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