Rutgers study: Underfunding of preschool threatens at-risk children

29 Apr

Moi wrote in Policy brief: The fiscal and educational benefits of universal universal preschool:

In Early learning standards and the K-12 continuum, moi said:

Preschool is a portal to the continuum of life long learning. A good preschool stimulates the learning process and prompts the child into asking questions about their world and environment. Baby Center offers advice about how to find a good preschool and general advice to expectant parents. At the core of why education is important is the goal of equipping every child with the knowledge and skills to pursue THEIR dream, whatever that dream is. Christine Armario and Dorie Turner are reporting in the AP article, AP News Break: Nearly 1 in 4 Fails Military Exam which appeared in the Seattle Times:

Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.

Many children begin their first day of school behind their more advantaged peers. Early childhood learning is an important tool is bridging the education deficit. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/early-learning-standards-and-the-k-12-contiuum/

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/25/policy-brief-the-fiscal-and-educational-benefits-of-universal-universal-preschool/

Joy Resmovits reported in the Huffington Post article, Preschool Funding Reached ‘State Of Emergency’ In 2012: NIEER Report:

States are drastically underfunding programs for their youngest learners now more than ever, according to a report released Monday, even as researchers and policymakers increasingly point to pre-school as a ladder to the middle class.

Funding per student for state pre-school programs has reached its lowest point in a decade, according to “The State of Preschool 2012,” the annual yearbook released by Rutgers University’s National Institute for Early Education Research. “The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for America’s children,” the authors wrote. After a decade of increasing enrollment, that growth stalled, according to the report. Though the 2011-2012 school year marks the first time pre-K enrollment didn’t increase along with the rate of population change.

“The state of preschool was a state of emergency” in 2012, said Steve Barnett, NIEER’s director. Between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, pre-K spending on state programs dropped by more than $548 million overall, and $442 per student (to $3,841) when adjusted for inflation, according to the report.

This means state pre-K funding per child has fallen more than $1,100 in real dollars from 2001-2002. “That’s the lowest since we’ve been tracking pre-K,” Barnett said. He called the cuts “severe” and “unprecedented.” This is the first time NIEER has seen average, per-student spending slip below $4,000. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/preschool-funding-2012-nieer-yearbook_n_3175249.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123

Here is the press release from The National Institute for Early Education Research:

Study Finds Drastic State Pre-K Funding Cuts Put Nation’s Youngest Learners at Risk

Monday, April 29, 2013

Funding Per Child Has Fallen More Than $1,000 Over the Decade; Programs Lose Quality as Financial Support Declines

CONTACT:  Jen Fitzgerald, (848) 932-3138, jfitzgerald@nieer.org

Washington, D.C. — State funding for pre-K decreased by over half a billion dollars in 2011-2012, the largest one-year drop ever, says a new study from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) which has tracked state pre-K since 2002.

The State of Preschool 2012 yearbook cited two other “firsts”: After a decade of growth, enrollment in state pre-K has stalled. And despite stagnant enrollment, state funding per child fell to $3,841 — well below the $5,020 (inflation-adjusted) national average in 2001-2002.

Even though the nation is emerging from the Great Recession, it is clear that the nation’s youngest learners are still bearing the brunt of the budget cuts,” said NIEER Director Steve Barnett. Reductions were widespread with 27 of 40 states with pre-K programs reporting funding per child declined in 2011-2012.

The adverse consequences of declining funding were manifested in a retrenchment in program quality as well. Seven programs lost ground against benchmarks for quality standards while only three gained. Only 15 states plus the District of Columbia provided enough funding per-child to meet all 10 benchmarks for quality standards. And, only 20 percent of all children enrolled in state-funded pre-K attend those programs. More than half a million children, or 42 percent of nationwide enrollment, were served by programs that met fewer than half of NIEER’s quality standards benchmarks.

Education in the years before kindergarten plays an important role in preparing our youngest citizens for productive lives in the global economy. Yet, our nation’s public investment in their future through pre-K declined during the recent economic downturn at the very time that parents’ financial capacity to invest in their children was hardest hit. America will pay the price of that lapse for decades to come. Barnett also noted that “while the recession greatly exacerbated the decline in funding, there was already a general trend in the states toward declining funding for quality.” In this respect, President Obama’s new universal pre-K proposal is especially timely. “We have studied the President’s plan and find it provides states with strong incentives to raise quality while expanding access to pre-K. The plan will assist states already leading the way, states that lost ground during the recession, and the 10 states that still have no state-funded pre-K,” he said.  

###

The National Institute for Early Education Research (www.nieer.org) at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, supports early childhood education policy and practice through independent, objective research.

The State of Preschool 2012: State Preschool Yearbook

View the full report

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education in this country, we are the next third world country.

Related:

What is the Educare preschool model?                           https://drwilda.com/2012/11/09/what-is-the-educare-preschool-model/

The state of preschool education is dire                    https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-state-of-preschool-education-is-dire/

Oregon State University study: Ability to pay attention in preschool may predict college success                                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/08/08/oregon-state-university-study-ability-to-pay-attention-in-preschool-may-predict-college-success/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for schoolhttps://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

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2 Responses to “Rutgers study: Underfunding of preschool threatens at-risk children”

  1. Tutors Salt Lake City July 5, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    Great post !! A good preschool stimulates the learning process and prompts the child into asking questions about their world and environment. Thank you.

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  1. California addresses school funding inequity | drwilda - August 22, 2013

    […] Rutgers study: Underfunding of preschool threatens at-risk children https://drwilda.com/2013/04/29/rutgers-study-underfunding-of-preschool-threatens-at-risk-children/ […]

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