States Slash Funding for Early Childhood Education

Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011 12:41 PM

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Rejecting the advice of the Obama administration, states across the country slashed funding for early-childhood education programs. Money for the programs dropped $30 million between 2009 and 2010 as states dealt with budget shortfalls, The Washington Post reported.

“Overall, state cuts to pre-K transformed the recession into a depression for many young children,” said the report by Rutgers’ National Institute for Early Education Research. State funding for K-12 education increased slightly, according to the Post.

The study showed that just 26 percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled in pre-K last year in 40 states. Per-child state spending for pre-kindergarten programs in 2010 was nearly $700 below its 2001-2002 level and the situation could get worse as federal stimulus funds expire, the Post reported.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the cuts present “real challenges to young people who are desperately fighting to enter the mainstream.” He called the early education programs the “most important investment we can make,” according to the Post.


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