Recession Continues to Cut Pre-kindergarten Support as State Funding Falls
The recession is over, but its effects are cutting into funding for pre-kindergarten, as total state and per-child spending fell. It would have been even worse without federal economic stimulus dollars, a new report found.
The State of Preschool paints a picture of a difficult 2010 for early education. Total state funding for pre-kindergarten fell for the second consecutive year, dropping nearly $30 million, while state funding per child, adjusted for inflation, fell in nearly half of states with pre-k programs – 19 out of 40, according to the annual analysis released today by the National Institute for Early Education Research. Overall, enrollment of U.S. four-year-old students, however, increased slightly to 26 percent from 25 percent.
The funding situation may get worse even as the economy slowly recovers. Federal funds to help states weather the recession are now gone. Without the aid from the federal economic stimulus, funding per child would have been even lower, approaching its lowest level since 2002 when NIEER began tracking state preschool performance. –“The State of Preschool 2010: State Preschool Yearbook.”