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Officials: Pre-K programs key to reducing adult crime


April 19, 2019
Eric Mark

JACKSON TWP. — With their backs against a tall prison wall topped with barbed wire, lawmakers and law enforcement officials on Thursday made the case for pre-Kindergarten education as a key to keeping people out of jail as adults. The setting was State Correctional Institution-Dallas. The subject was a report just released by the anti-crime…

Think teacher pay is low in Colorado? Try teaching preschool.


April 19, 2019
Ann Schimke

Last year’s statewide teacher rallies and this year’s Denver teacher strike shined a bright light on Colorado’s lower-than-average teacher pay. But less well-known is  the wide salary gap  between public elementary school teachers and their preschool counterparts. Last year, lead preschool teachers in district-run schools made $30,500 on average, nearly $22,000 less than public elementary school teachers, according to…

Texas lags again in pre-K funding, but there’s talk of change


April 19, 2019
Melissa B. Taboada

Texas is falling further behind other states in spending on its youngest learners. A new national study shows the Lone Star State ranked 35th in the country for spending on prekindergarten students in 2018, tumbling seven spots compared to the previous year’s rankings and nine places from the 2016 figures. Texas spent $3,559 per child…

West Virginias’s early learning programs rank among top in the nation


April 19, 2019
Jordan Nelson

West Virginia’s Universal Pre-K Program is ranked among the top in the nation, according to the 2018 Yearbook released Wednesday by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), recognizing the state as a leader in pre-K access for 4-year-olds and quality standards. The State of Preschool Yearbook is the only national report on state-funded…

National report ranks Oklahoma among top states in pre-K education


April 18, 2019
Kyle Hinchey

Oklahoma continues to be a national leader in providing universal access to prekindergarten, according to a report released Wednesday. The National Institute for Early Childhood Education ranks Oklahoma No. 4 for access to prekindergarten, with 74% of the state’s 4-year-olds enrolled in early education programs during the 2017-18 school year. As one of the first…

Report: Michigan meeting early education quality standards


April 18, 2019
Steve Carmody

A new study  finds Michigan is doing well in educating very young children. But the report’s authors are concerned about the future. The National Institute for Early Education Research’s State of Preschool 2018 report has positive things to say about the state. Michigan is one of only three states to meet the group’s new, more stringent benchmarks for…

Ivey announces Alabama’s First Class Pre-K as nation’s top program


April 18, 2019
Will Whaley

Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) ranks Alabama First Class Pre-K as the nation’s highest quality state pre-kindergarten program for the 13th consecutive year. This includes the program in Selma City School System, that is now called the Selma City School’s Strong Start Pre-K program. “We are…

California lags behind other states in quality and access to state-funded preschool


April 18, 2019
Zaidee Stavely

California still has a long way to go to catch up with other states in quality and access to preschool, according to a national report that ranks all state-funded preschool programs. The  “State of Preschool Yearbook”  is published every year by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), based at Rutgers University.  California was ranked 14th in access…

Preschool Progress Stalled in NJ but is Promising, Report Finds


April 17, 2019
Dino Flammia

New Jersey spends more money per preschool student than any other state, and delivers a high-quality program, but the state has room to grow when it comes to providing access to preschool, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The Garden State remains a national leader in access…

Report: State needs to move faster on plans to enroll all eligible children in preschool by 2022


April 17, 2019
Neal Morton

Washington needs to a move a lot faster to meet a self-imposed deadline to enroll all eligible children in preschool by 2022-23, a new report on the  state of preschool  nationwide suggested. But as state lawmakers consider measures to boost enrollment, advocates stressed that preschool providers need more money to offer competitive salaries for teachers amid  pay hikes  in neighboring…