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Thursday, 7th May 2009

Pew Study: Despite Budget Shortfalls, the Majority of Governors are Increasing or Protecting Pre-Kindergarten Funding

Pew Study: Despite Budget Shortfalls, the Majority of Governors are Increasing or Protecting Pre-Kindergarten Funding
Source: Pew Center on the States

Even as they confront the fiscal crisis and whittle spending to core priorities, the majority of the nation’s governors are increasing or protecting their state’s investments in pre-kindergarten programs in the coming fiscal year. Five times as many governors are proposing to protect or increase pre-k, as are those who are calling for cuts to early education. Three governors are even introducing new initiatives in states that currently offer no publicly funded pre-k, according to a national analysis released today by Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States.
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The non-partisan annual report, “Leadership Matters: Governors’ Pre-K Budget Proposals Fiscal Year 2010,” evaluates budget proposals for the next year and governors’ remarks in recent state of the state addresses to determine which leaders count voluntary, high-quality pre-k among their top education and economic development strategies. The findings underscore a growing interest among federal and state policymakers in targeting limited public resources to effective programs backed by research. This year’s report also addresses federal action, such as the Obama administration’s inclusion of funding proposals for early education in the stimulus package.

In the ten states with the largest budget shortfalls, the report revealed notable differences in gubernatorial priorities and pre-k leadership. While Governors Charlie Crist of Florida, Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Ted Kulongoski of Oregon are proposing pre-k increases, their counterparts in states facing similar constraints, Governors M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut and David Paterson of New York, chose not to increase or protect current pre-k investments, decisions that limit parents’ choices and diminish young children’s chances to start school ready to succeed.

+ Full Report (PDF; 1.2 MB)


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