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Feds give low ranking to CAO’s Head Start program


April 26, 2019
Mary B. Pasciak

Community Action Organization’s Head Start program in Erie County ranked among the lowest 10 percent of such programs across the country last year in classroom observations by federal officials. A government review last year also found that 11 percent of the agency’s teachers throughout Erie and Niagara counties did not have the required qualifications. The…

Looking to reach children statewide, Indiana expands its pre-K voucher program


April 26, 2019
Stephanie Wang

For the first time, children from low-income families across Indiana could have the opportunity to go to prekindergarten for free. The state will open up its pre-K voucher program, On My Way Pre-K, to eligible families statewide — a key expansion of what had been a limited pilot program only available in 20 counties, including…

Workforce-ready needs to start in preschool, study shows


April 26, 2019
Scott Hilyard

PEORIA HEIGHTS — More children are entering their school-age years socially and emotionally unprepared for effective learning, according to a study by the Illinois State Board of Education. It’s a deficiency that, left unchanged, can follow children into adulthood and ultimately erode workforce skills and economic development, a group of local business leaders warned Wednesday. “People…

Mountain State’s early learning programs rank among top in nation


April 23, 2019
Jordan Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — 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…

Nearly half of all SC 4-year-olds now attend state-funded pre-K programs


April 23, 2019
Ariel Gilreath

In the last 16 years, South Carolina has gone from less than a third of its 4-year-olds attending state-funded preschool programs to nearly half — a 59% increase. The data on early education comes from a new report by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University called “ The State of Preschool 2018 .” The report…

New report shows state’s pre-K efforts failing to move the needle


April 23, 2019
Derek Robertson

More than half of the state’s 3- or 4-year-olds were not in preschool for most of the last decade, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP). And that’s a rate that has only increased as the decade has worn on, despite tens of millions of dollars directed toward…

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…