- The National Institute for Early Education Research released a report Monday analyzing preschool attendance and accessibility in all 50 states and has found that the number of students enrolled in state funded preschool is increasing, albeit incredibly slowly.
- Pre-K enrollment grew by 8,500 spots in 2014, with 4% of the nation's 3-year olds and 29% of 4-year olds attending, but at this rate it would take 75 years before 50% of children that age were enrolled.
- The report also found that while states have increased pre-K funding by $120 million, they are not spending as much as they were before the 2010-11 school year when the recession hit and initial cuts were made.
The picture painted here: Things are improving, but not fast enough. Why is pre-K so important? Studies have shown that early education increases the likelihood of academic success later in life.
Earlier this year, a study out of Duke found that universal pre-K programs can also benefit states financially, as they bring down the number of students in special education programs later in life. The Duke report looked specifically at North Carolina's Smart Start and More at Four programs, finding that initiatives such as these reduced the chances of a student being placed in special education courses in third grade by 39%.