Volume 3, Issue 5

June 29, 2004

Hot Topics

Targeted preschool programs miss many children for whom they were developed — and kids just above the eligibility levels miss out altogether. Should public funds be used to pick up where targeted programs leave off and offer preschool for all? The possibilities — and pitfalls — are explored in a new NIEER policy brief, The Universal vs. Targeted Debate: Should the United States Have Preschool for All?
Early education advocates and business leaders in Massachusetts are celebrating their successful campaign to get the Legislature to pass legislation that lays the groundwork for universal preschool in that state. First step, once Governor Mitt Romney signs the measure, is to set up both a Board and a Department of Education & Care to oversee all preschool in the state. You can learn more at the Strategies for Children web site.
The Abbott districts in New Jersey settled with that state’s Department of Education over the district’s 2004-05 budgets, receiving approval for more than $500 million in funding for K-12 for the coming school year. The Education Law Center pegs that as an increase of $170 million over the $335 million the department approved on May 28th. For 2004-05, the Abbott districts will receive over $400 million to provide full day preschool programs for 3- and 4-year old children.

NIEER Activities

Good public policy depends on a good understanding of program costs and funding as well as what makes preschool education most effective. That’s the message of a policy briefing delivered by NIEER Director W. Steven Barnett and Research Associate Pamela Kelley at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 13th National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development on June 22. The researchers presented a study of the costs of early education in Massachusetts as well as costs that would be involved in financing preschool-for-all for the entire nation.

Calendar

July 13, 2004 - July 16, 2004
Orlando, FL – Join state and national policymakers from across the country at the Education Commission of the States’ national forum.
July 14, 2004 - July 15, 2004
Aurora, CO – This workshop provides an introduction to the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) Scaffolding Early Literacy professional development program.
July 26, 2004 - July 30, 2004
Washington, DC – Join school officials, policymakers, and researchers from across the nation at the annual National Center for Education Statistics conference for elementary and secondary education data users and providers.

Early Education News Roundup

June 28, 2004
Tallahassee Democrat
Statewide pre-kindergarten is supposed to start in fall 2005, and a program of this size can't be created overnight. Having enough classes, public and private, to educate an estimated 150,000 kids will take a lot of preparation that would be pushed back substantially if the Legislature started all over again next spring.
June 27, 2004
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN
Yet suddenly this year, Stroucken has emerged as a champion for an issue that is rapidly gaining priority at many corporations and foundations in Minnesota: the need for a stronger commitment to early childhood development. But he fears that [a stronger workforce] won't happen unless this nation does more to help children in their critical pre-kindergarten years, when so much of their brain development occurs.
June 27, 2004
Daily News, New York, NY
Integrated classes are a cornerstone of the Clearview School, part of the state-funded education network YAI New York League for Early Learning. The program serves children with mild to moderate learning and physical disabilities at six sites across the city.
June 17, 2004
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN
Much research shows that a key ingredient to economic success is investment in education, what economists call human capital. But the investment in human capital must start early.
June 13, 2004
Daily Local News
But the state is failing to provide equitable education programs to its youngsters, according to a report released Wednesday. The biennially released report -- The State of the Child in Pennsylvania 2004 -- stated that one in six children under the age of 5 lives in poverty, putting them at greater risk of being inadequately prepared for kindergarten.

Resources

This report from the National Center for Education Statistics describes public and private kindergarten in the United States, and includes the composition and structure of public school full- and half-day kindergarten classes and the instructional practices used in these classes.
The Child Trends DataBank has expanded its "What Works" information section and now links more than 60 DataBank indicators to information about programs and interventions that influence the development and well-being of young children, as well as additional tables about which programs work for youth. You can access the tables at the Child Trends DataBank web site.