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Document Number: 6395

An Analysis of Florida's Voluntary Pre-K Program - In November 2002, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that required a voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK) program be available for all four-year-olds by fall of 2005. On January 2, 2005, Governor Jeb Bush signed into law HB-1A, which allows parents of four-year-old children to choose an approved pre-k service provider. This paper analyzes Florida's VPK program using the policy instruments of regulation, finance and support services, and based on specific benchmarks predicts the likely consequences of the VPK program on the criteria of choice, productive efficiency, equity and social cohesion. The author concludes that the Florida VPK program appears to favor the principles of freedom of choice and efficiency at the expense of equity and social cohesion. (Shana Kennedy-Salchow, Teachers College, Columbia University, May 2005)...

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