Leadership Matters: Governors’ Pre-K Budget Proposals Fiscal Year 2011

May 20, 2010

Despite widespread fiscal distress, the nation's governors are proposing to essentially hold state investments for pre-kindergarten steady for FY 2011.

The Leadership Matters report finds that state-funded high-quality pre-k remains largely dependent on where children live, with gubernatorial proposals ranging widely from significant expansion in Alabama to elimination in Arizona.

Leadership Matters is Pre-K Now's annual survey of governors' funding and policy proposals for publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the role the federal government plays in state pre-k. So far, the Obama administration has not matched its strong rhetoric with concrete proposals.

Key Findings 

  • • Nine governors increase pre-k investments by a total of $78.5 million.
  • • Three other states and the District of Columbia anticipate an increase for pre-k through their school funding formulas. 
  • • Ten governors propose to flat fund pre-k. These states include Alaska and Rhode Island, which both started new programs in FY10.
  • • Twelve governors are proposing to decrease pre-k funding. Early learning investments would decline by a total of $100.6 million.
  • • Ten states provide no state-funded pre-k.

Leadership Matters Online

For the first time, Leadership Matters is a Web-based report. At the Pre-K Now Web site, each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia has a profile page featuring their executives’ budget proposals, funding trend data, neighboring state comparisons and related news links.

The report also identifies the emergent themes and provides in-depth analysis of the gubernatorial recommendations that best illustrate them:

  • • Pre-k funding sustainability
  • • Pre-k as integral to education
  • • Protecting pre-k
  • • Bipartisan support for pre-k
  • • Federal support for pre-k

These detailed stories offer greater insight into the fiscal and political climate surrounding publicly funded pre-k.

 
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