State pre-K funding took a hit nationwide last year


PreKA lapse in state funding nationwide last year could leave our littlest learners suffering for years to come, according to a new study from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), which has tracked state pre-K since 2002.

Across the country, state funding for pre-K decreased by more than half a billion dollars in 2011-2012, the largest one-year drop ever, according to the NIEER study. The State of Preschool 2012 yearbook cited two other first time occurrences: After a decade of growth, enrollment in state pre-K has stalled. And despite stagnant enrollment, state funding per child fell to $3,841 — well below the $5,020 (inflation-adjusted) national average in 2001-2002.