Votes Count: Legislative Action on Pre-K Fiscal Year 2011

Dec 08, 2010

Leaders of Both Parties Protect State Pre-Kindergarten from Budget Cuts

Despite persistent budget shortfalls, leaders of both parties in a majority of states supported high-quality pre-kindergarten investments in FY11. Funding increased just over one percent, to $5.4 billion, according to a 50-state analysis released by Pew's Pre-K Now campaign.

"Votes Count" reviews fiscal year 2011 funding and legislative action on pre-kindergarten programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read the full report online at

Key Findings

  • • $5.4 billion in total state funding will support pre-k programs in FY11
  • • 15 states and the District of Columbia increased their pre-k funding
  • • 11 states flat funded their pre-k budgets
  • • 10 states decreased their pre-k funding by approximately $32 million
  • • 10 states do not have state pre-k programs

The report also finds that states that used school funding formulas to support pre-k were more likely to maintain and even grow early education investments than states that did not use the school funding formula.

Federal Funds Can Help Expand Pre-K

In this economic downturn, states are finding creative ways to use federal funds for early learning, even when those resources are not dedicated specifically to state pre-k. "Votes Count" shows how federal funds can encourage new state investments in pre-kindergarten education which helps establish a strong foundation for student achievement and build the effective research-based education system our nation need to compete in the global economy.

Media Inquiries

If you are with the media and would like additional information on Votes Count, view the press release or contact Alia Dastagir, communications senior associate, The Pew Center on the States, 202.540.6524.



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