Early Education in the News
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared Tuesday before the House Education and Workforce Committee to promote what he called the “centerpiece” of the administration’s 2014 education budget proposal, the $75 billion plan to expand public preschool through a funding initiative that would encourage states to offer preschool to low-income and middle-class children.
Seventh-grade sports teams, education technician jobs and several maintenance projects fell victim to cuts in next year's budget for Regional School Unit 38. But even while trying to minimize the tax increase for district residents, the school board found one area where they wanted to add, not eliminate: pre-kindergarten.
Early-learning programs offer a cost-effective way to prepare young learners for success in school and in life. Preschool is a benefit that trickles up. Research shows high-quality preschool saves school districts about $3,700 per child over the K-12 years.
[State Sen. Peggy Lehner] said 5,700 students are currently in public preschool; Gov. John Kasich has proposed raising that to 6,200. An additional 30,000 are in Head Start programs that Lehner said vary greatly in quality. But 130,000 more are eligible because they are in households making less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Twenty states now use student performance in the early grades to assess teachers, yet current evaluation systems don't provide an accurate picture of what's happening in the classroom, asserts a study released today by the Washington-based New America Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to promote equity, access and excellence in education.
Proposals to tie public funding to student performance and issue letter grades to Louisiana’s public and private early childhood education programs are finding easy passage through the Legislature.
While most of New Jersey’s elementary school districts offer full-day kindergarten, at least 114 districts still offer half-day only, according to the state Department of Education. The Assembly Education Committee approved a bill that would create a task force to explore full-day options.
Two new studies on a state funded pre-K program show Arkansas is beginning to shrink the gap between low-income children and other children. The Rutgers University study found Arkansas Better Chance students had improved scores in vocabulary and math through the second grade and in literacy through the third grade than students who did not attend ABC.
At the same time that educators are trying to figure out how to use technology best, others are saying that evidence suggests that there's little need to introduce technology to young learners because it crowds out more appropriate activities.
Children who participate in these programs are more likely to graduate from high school, hold a job considered semi-skilled or higher, attain a four-year degree and earn more as adults. And that is good for our businesses and our state’s economy. Key to these economic outcomes are two critical factors: the quality of the programs and access to the programs.
As Springfield’s interest in expanded preschool ramps up, Missouri is making a significant push to promote early childhood education. State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said catapulting the state’s education out of the middle of the pack into the top 10 will require improved kindergarten readiness, among other things.
Florida’s VPK program would be much more effective if funding was doubled, the school day was longer and teachers were required to have four-year degrees, said Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at New Jersey’s Rutgers University.
States are spending less on prekindergarten programs that prepare children for school and learning. This trend must be reversed, or the nation will continue to see dramatic and growing gaps in the achievement scores of affluent, middle-class, and poor students.
Like much of the nation, Ohio has slashed enrollment and funding in public preschool for children in low-income families, according to a report released yesterday. State aid for preschool dropped by more than a half-billion dollars in the 2011-12 school year, the largest one-year drop ever, according to a study by the National Institute for Early Education Research, which has tracked state pre-kindergarten programs since 2002.
North Carolina had one of the best pre-kindergarten programs in the country in 2011-12, but it also experienced one of the nation’s biggest drops in enrollment, according to a report released Monday.
State funding for preschool across the country dropped last school year after a decade of growth, tapping the brakes on the quality and reach of programs as President Obama has called for a massive expansion of early childhood education, according to a national survey scheduled for release Monday.
State funding for pre-kindergarten programs had its largest drop ever last year and states are now spending less per child than they did a decade ago, according to a report released Monday. The report also found that more than a half million of those preschool students are in programs that don't even meet standards suggested by industry experts that would qualify for federal dollars.
Gov. Susana Martinez says the state education department will be able to expand pre-kindergarten education next year and fund all 40 programs across the state that applied for funding. Martinez says that thanks to a $4.5 million increase in the budget approved by lawmakers for the 2013-2014 school year, the education department can fund 12 new PreK programs in areas including Roswell, Silver City and Taos.
Vermont legislators hope to decrease cost and increase academic achievement by expanding access to early education. About 84 percent of Vermont towns already publicly fund pre-K, with about 38 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds in those towns enrolled in those programs.
Despite the announcement earlier this month that dozens of low-performing Head Start centers would lose grants after recompeting for the federal preschool funds, the Office of Head Start still refuses to specify which—leaving advocates to scrutinize the agency’s statements for details as the process grinds forward.