Votes Count: Legislative Action on Pre-K Fiscal Year 2008

Votes Count: Legislative Action on Pre-K Fiscal Year 2008

Each year, state lawmakers around the nation are faced with the daunting task of selecting, from among countless programs, those that represent the wisest investment of taxpayer dollars. I am pleased to report that, in 2007, 36 states, including eight which anticipate enrollment-based funding increases, identified high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten as a cost-effective and socially responsible program worthy of increased funding. These new FY08 state pre-k investments exceed half a billion dollars.

In addition to supporting substantial new dollars, a number of state legislatures passed landmark bills, instituting important quality measures such as bachelor's degree requirements for pre-k teachers, expanding eligibility for targeted early education programs, and, most importantly, establishing pre-k for all children. These new laws reflect the growing, bipartisan understanding that providing high-quality pre-k programs to increasing numbers of children is smart public policy that improves the quality of life for everyone.

And this year, the pre-k message is being heard in the halls of Congress. Three comprehensive bills were introduced during the 2007 session that would authorize federal funding to support state-administered pre-k programs. The sponsors of these bills come from both parties and from states across the country, but their bills share the common recognition that high-quality pre-k is an essential educational program from which all children benefit.

This year's edition of “Votes Count: Legislative Action on Pre-K” celebrates those state legislatures that made smart investments and passed important legislation in support of high-quality pre-k. Yet, it also issues a call to action in those states where lawmakers continue to neglect early education, leaving their states' young children at a disadvantage compared to their peers around the country and around the world.

Pre-K Now and The Pew Charitable Trusts commend our national and state leaders as they move to provide high-quality pre-k to more three and four year olds, and we encourage those still lagging to join this powerful movement. These investments, when paired with sound policies that support and sustain quality, will pay dividends for our states, for our society, and for generations of Americans to come.

Susan K. Urahn

Managing Director, The Pew Center on the States 

To quickly view what is said about your state in "Votes Count" go to Pre-K Now's Web site.

National Homeownership Month

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.