Slight Uptick in State Pre-K Funding – 2012-13
ECS reviewed state pre-K funding policies across all 50 states to determine 2012-13 state expenditures on pre-K programs serving 4-year-olds. The goal of this analysis was to determine how state commitment to pre-K programs serving 4-year-olds fared during a flat budget year. Findings indicate that while 26 states cut K-12 funding in 2012-13, state funding for pre-K programs serving 4-year-olds increased by 3.6%. With increasing awareness of the impact quality early learning has on 3rd-grade reading proficiency, many states are preserving or even boosting their funding for pre-K.
Early Learning at the ECS National Forum
The ECS National Forum on Education Policy in St. Louis, June 25-27, will feature some exciting early learning sessions that you won’t want to miss! Included in the line-up are Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius talking about the President’s preschool proposal, Barbara Bowman moderating a session on the Early Learning Challenge grants, and Doug Clements discussing how math instruction benefits our youngest students. Register today!
What's Happening in the States
In order to help establish parent/teacher expectations of the student and strengthen the working relationship between the teacher, the parents or guardians, and the student, Iowa SB1057 allows districts to utilize a portion of the instructional staff allowance for teachers to visit the parents or guardians of students during the first week of the kindergarten school year. Such visits may take place at school, at the student's home or at another location agreed to by the teacher and parents or guardians.
Mississippi joins 14 others states who require that 3rd-grade students be proficient in reading in order to be promoted to 4th-grade. Mississippi SB2347 requires school districts to provide intensive reading instruction and intervention to students who have substantial deficiency in reading beginning in kindergarten in order to minimize the number of students retained.
Inventory of Connecticut's Publicly Funded Preschool
A Kindergarten Entrance Inventory (KEI) conducted by the Connecticut Department of Education found that kids who'd attended public preschool were approximately 10% less likely to need substantial support entering kindergarten. Governor Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly added 1,000 additional preschool slots last year.
State-Funded Pre-K Programs
The National Institute for Early Education Research released their 2012 State Preschool Yearbook, an annual report profiling state-funded pre-kindergarten programs in the United States. The authors find that 28% of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded preschool program in the 2011-12 school year, the same percentage as the year before. The authors highlight that the findings in this Yearbook raise serious concerns on the quality and availability of pre-K education for most of Americas’ young learners.
Business for Early Childhood
America's business leaders are familiar with extensive evidence-based research on what works in early childhood and they are investing in it. By doing so, they also know they are investing in the future workforce and the U.S. economy. In this study, four types of business organizations were surveyed: state chambers of commerce, the largest city chambers, all state business roundtables, and a sampling of smaller, local chambers. Momentum appears to be growing and existing executive voices may become the framework for a bigger early childhood movement.
Improving K-3 Reading Comprehension
WestEd has developed four free professional development modules for the U.S. Department of Education that contain everything necessary to conduct four two-hour professional development sessions on implementing Doing What Works (DWW) K-3 Reading Comprehension Practices. Module 1 is an overview of DWW and K-3 reading comprehension, Module 2 is on teaching reading comprehension to beginning readers, Module 3 is a focus on text structure to support comprehension, and Module 4 is on engaging students with text. WestEd recommends the modules for professional development and technical assistance providers, principals and reading specialists, teacher leaders and coaches, and classroom teachers.