Pre-K Works, So Why Not PA?

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Pre-K Works, So Why Not PA shows Pennsylvania ranks 18th out of 30 states that make public investments in high-quality, publicly funded pre-k, despite having increased its per capita investment by $30 million for the current fiscal year. Presently only 39 percent of eligible children in Pennsylvania benefit from the opportunity. Without expanded access, school success and skill development for early learners will be weakened, ultimately compromising the state's ability to develop a stronger workforce.

Interactive Mapping Tool: High-Quality, Publicly Funded Pre-K in Pennsylvania (2017)

Research shows pre-k works. Access to high-quality pre-k is a fundamental building block of our state's education system and helps ensure children have the strong foundation necessary to enter kindergarten ready to succeed. Unfortunately, even with recent increases in state funding, more than 106,200 eligible children who qualify for high-quality, publicly funded pre-k remain unserved. Pennsylvania ranks 18th out of 30 states that make public investments in high-quality pre-k. So why not PA? PPC created the interactive mapping tool in 2016 to help Pennsylvanians learn more about this vital early learning experience in their local area. Use the map to see the number of children served, unmet need, the number of high-quality providers and current capacity by House or Senate district, or by school district or county. Not sure where your legislative district or school district is? No problem! Use the search functionality on each map to find them.





Prioritizing Pre-K in Pennsylvania: A State Comparison

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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.





A Path Forward Report

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School District Data | Data Sources & Methodology

Driven by bi-partisan support, publicly funded, high-quality pre-k was placed as a top state funding priority of the past two state budget cycles…and rightfully so. Access to this vital service is a fundamental building block of our state's education system and helps ensure children have the strong foundation necessary to enter kindergarten ready to learn. Furthermore, research has shown that it can reduce grade repetition, special education placements, and dropout rates. Unfortunately, even with recent increases in state funding, there are over 112,900 eligible children who qualify for high-quality, publicly funded pre-k but remain unserved. This report highlights the unmet need across all 500 Pennsylvania school districts and provides a contextual outlook for rural, suburban, and urban areas of the state. The need to build additional high-quality pre-k capacity is also explored as well as a path our policymakers can take to insure our most at-risk children are afforded the opportunity to participate in high-quality pre-k.

Interactive Map

Accompanying the release of "A Path Forward: Publicly Funded, High-Quality Pre-K in Pennsylvania", web-users will be able to learn more about publicly funded, high-quality pre-k in their local area. Information on the website is available for interactive review at the Pennsylvania House, Senate and school district levels and includes local data on children served, unmet need, the number of high-quality providers, current capacity and much more! Not sure where your legislative districts or school district are on the maps? No problem! Use the convenient search functionality on each map to look up your legislators or school district.