Today the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) published its annual pre-k yearbook, which provides a comprehensive source of data on state-pre-k programs. It’s a useful, but long, report, so I thought I’d summarize the five big takeaways:
- Enrollment in state pre-k programs has been essentially flat at the national level since 2010. In 2010, states enrolled 28% of 4-year-olds and 4% of 3-year-olds in pre-k. In 2015, they enrolled 29% of 4-year-olds and 5% of 3-year-olds.
- Nearly all the growth in state pre-k enrollment in 2014-15 was in New York City.
- But these gains were cancelled out by cuts in enrollment in other states, particularly Texas.
- We know less than we should about dual language learner students in pre-k. Of 43 states with pre-k programs, only 23 track the number of pre-k students who are dual language learners. Only 6 states require assessment of dual language learners in their home language.
- Pre-k teachers make way less than K-12 teachers. Across states where data on teacher salaries is available, pre-k teachers in public school settings make an average of $44,521 a year, or $11,959 less than K-12 teachers. Teachers in community-based (but still state-funded) settings earn even less: an average of $32,686 or $26,961 less than K-12 teachers.