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Improving the Evidence Base for Access to Quality Pre-K

University of Pennsylvania's John Fantuzzo, Katie Barghaus and Whitney LeBoeuf write about improving the evidence base for quality pre-k in Philadelphia.
March 23, 2017, 6am PDT | dlang
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Early childhood education has captured the nation’s attention and holds a rare spot in the center of the political aisle. This is not surprising given that a quality Pre-K experience can save the public at least three dollars for every dollar spent, particularly for children who live in poverty and experience numerous risks to their educational success. In Philadelphia, the poorest of the ten largest cities in America, Mayor Kenney built his political campaign on this knowledge and won. Once in office, Kenney established the Commission on Universal Pre-K to expand access to quality Pre-K in the city, with the ultimate goal of universal access for all three- and four-year-old children. This introduced one of the most important decisions in Kenney’s early term as Mayor—how to expand quality Pre-K given limited funds and thousands of children in need. As researchers, the critical question for us became how to provide useful information to Kenney’s Commission in a timely manner so they can allocate funds to serve the most vulnerable children first.
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Published on Thursday, March 9, 2017 in Penn IUR Urban Link
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