Preschool spending declined across the nation by $190 million in 2012-13

Just as the Obama administration and lefty mayors like New York City’s Bill de Blasio are calling for universal pre-kindergarten programs, the National Center for Education Statistics released a report, “The State of Preschool 2013,” May 8, 2014 showing that preschool spending is on the decline across the country.

“Federal Government and Total expenditures from all identified sources supporting state preschool programs equaled $6.2 billion in 2012-13, representing a decrease from the previous year’s inflation-adjusted total of $6.39 billion….Compared to 2011-12, state funding per child for preschool declined in 21 of 41 states with programs in 2012-13 (table 3)”


POSTED BY Jill Barshay ON May 8, 2014

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Michelle Gininger

Chester Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (and where I work), notes:

Why were these data suddenly important for NCES? Because of “the President’s call to expand preschool education access.” And turning this project over to NIEER, not surprisingly, enjoyed the ardent approval of sundry other advocacy groups, such as the New America Foundation, that agree with the president and strongly favor the expansion of publicly-supported pre-school programs, just like he does.

Fishy, yes, especially for a statistical agency that is supposed to be neutral in policy matters. Note that the same contract pays for NIEER to issue its own “pre-school yearbook,”, which is practically indistinguishable from the federal report also authored by Dr. Barnett and his team, save that the “yearbook” contains lots more spin and advocacy than the NCES publication. Spin and advocacy underwritten by your tax dollar and mine, thanks to NCES.

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