Early Education: Funding Increases and Program Cuts

Early Education ActivityEarlier this week, Pre-K Now released a report discussing proposed 2010 pre-k funding in all 50 states. The report, entitled “Leadership Matters: Governors’ Pre-K Proposals Fiscal Year 2010,” paints a hopeful picture for the early education community. Despite widespread budget deficits, there are significantly more governors (27 vs. 5) who proposed to increase or stabilize pre-k funding, rather than decrease it. 14 governors have proposed increases in pre-k funding, and 9 governors have indirectly increased pre-k funding through increases in their states’ school funding formulas. Also, 3 states (Alaska, North Dakota, and Rhode Island) that have never before invested in pre-k have proposed funding for new pre-k initiatives in 2010. 13 states kept pre-k funding flat, and 5 states have proposed decreases in pre-k funding.

Wisconsin’s 4K program is funded through the school funding formula and the amount is based on enrollment. Although the 2010 funding amount is not yet known, in 2009 Wisconsin’s 4K is expected to receive $105 million. Governor Doyle has proposed a $1 million increase in 4K start-up grants in 2010 and a 1% decrease in the state Head Start supplement.

President Obama has also recently announced a change in early education funding. In an effort to cut $17 billion from the federal budget, the White House has proposed to cut several programs including the entire Even Start program- a program that offers grants for family literacy projects. This cut would save taxpayers $66 million in 2010.

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