Pennsylvania ranked 38th in study of U.S. early education systems


(Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool)

As the school year approaches, some parents may wonder whether or not to start their child in pre-school programs before the child reaches Kindergarten age.

A study from the Education Policy Initiative at the University of Michigan saw significant drops in enrollment for three-year-old (12 percent decrease) and four-year-old children (17 percent) during the COVID-19 pandemic. A separate study from Rutgers University showed children who were enrolled in Pre-K programs were less likely to be involved in future crime.

WalletHub, the personal finance website, compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics of early education and released their findings last Wednesday. Due to low rankings in access to early education (ranked 46th) and quality of education (37th), Pennsylvania ranked 38th in the country despite ranking 9th in state spending toward resources and support.

The study measured specific metrics such as the number of three- and four-year-old children enrolled, Pre-K program growth, quality benchmarks and total reported spending per child, among others.

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