It’s not just that research shows high quality pre-kindergarten gives each and every 4-year-old a lift that lasts a lifetime. It’s that it does the same for the entire state:
Contact your legislators, in session now, and urge them to support high-quality pre-K for all Minnesota 4-year-olds.
Every $1 that Minnesota invests in early learning can yield up to a $16 return on investment.Tweet this
Source: Findings by economists at the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis
Some argue that pre-K programs targeted and limited to the most at-risk children are the best and most efficient way to use state funds.
Research shows that universal access is a more effective approach:
Universal pre-K program could completely close the reading achievement gap between whites and students of color.Tweet this
Source: National Institute for Early Education Research
While universal access to pre-K is key, so is quality – and the funds and oversight to ensure it.
Here are the components of a high-quality, state-wide program:
It’s true. Minnesota has invested in pre-K. But not pre-K for all.
Our current scholarship program only serves 5,700 low-income families. Hardly enough to address that population, let alone middle-income families.
Some school districts have the funds to offer half-day pre-K programs. But access varies widely, and some only offer it one day a week.
Even worse, there’s no check and balance. That is, the Minnesota Department of Education isn’t required to track how many programs there are, what they offer and how many children they reach.
Minnesota has always prided itself on its education system. Yet, with a growing body of research that shows pre-K is a smart investment, we lag far behind.
And that gap is growing, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research: