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National Pre-K Advocacy Group Lauds TN

State of Tennessee Press Release, May 10, 2010:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program received high marks in the National Institute of Early Education Research’s (NIEER) annual report. The state ranked among the top sates for percentage of children enrolled and funding per child.

The program met nine out of 10 quality standard benchmarks in the report, State of Preschool 2009. The state increased enrollment of 4-year-olds to 22 percent, and earned an overall ranking of 15th for funding per child with $4,520.

“Our dedication to the Pre-K program in this state has been unwavering and it shows,” Governor Bredesen said. “Pre-K classrooms are one of the best investments we can make in the lives of our young people and even during difficult budget time, we’ve committed to providing them with that unparalleled educational opportunity.”

Nationally, the report showed that pre-school age children across the country are feeling the impact of the recession and that the average amount states spent per child, when adjusted for inflation, declined in 2009, ending an upward trend. Real spending per child declined in 24 of 38 states with programs.

Tennessee Pre-K Facts:

  • Funding in FY 10 is $83.4 million
  • Tennessee has 934 state funded Pre-K classes that serve over 18,000 children

Our voluntary Pre-K program is an investment that will pay off as we graduate students college- and career-ready,” Education Commissioner Timothy Webb said. “Our continued improvement and national recognition is evidence that Pre-K is right for Tennessee.”

To see Tennessee’s state profile online, pleas visit http://nieer.org/yearbook/pdf/yearbook_TN.pdf.

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