Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
Prioritizing Pre-K in Pennsylvania: A State Comparison
High-quality pre-k is an integral component of the commonwealth’s education system that lays the foundation for a child’s success well beyond their elementary education. An extensive body of research demonstrates the academic and social benefits including a reduced need for remedial services, decreased dropout rates and an increased likelihood of post-secondary education enrollment. Just as important, investments in high-quality pre-k have been linked to reduced incarceration rates and less reliance on public assistance programs, thus saving taxpayer dollars. This report examines the commonwealth’s commitment to providing high-quality pre-k compared to 27 other states and the District of Columbia that offer comparable programs. The data shows that despite strong bipartisan support over the past two fiscal years, Pennsylvania ranks in the bottom half of per capita investments for preschool age children. Furthermore, several states have scaled up their programs at a faster rate. With this is mind, the need to build additional high-quality pre-k capacity has never been greater.
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