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As Consensus Around Pre-K Grows, Access Still Lags

August 29, 2017
Todd Zwillich

It’s late August, and that means many American schoolchildren are returning to school. As parents prepare their kids for the upcoming year, we wanted to look at a class that, in many areas, still does not exist: Pre-kindergarten.

Across the country, about 1.5 million or 40 percent of 4-year-olds are enrolled in some form of publicly-funded early education program, according to the Department of Education. Those numbers have been increasing steadily in recent years, but the question of who gets access, and what the quality of that access is, all depends on what state and city you live in.

Abbie Lieberman, a policy analyst on the Early & Elementary Education Policy team at New America, weighs in.