5 Big Takeaways from the Pre-K Yearbook

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Nearly all the growth in state pre-k enrollment in 2014-15 was in New York City. 
  3. But these gains were cancelled out by cuts in enrollment in other states, particularly Texas.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

More in my U.S. News & World Report piece today here, and at the NIEER website here.