WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools have published a new study ranking 35 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (those with both charter legislation and state-funded pre-K) on how hospitable they are in allowing charter schools to offer pre-K.
“Both charter schools and preschools have shown tremendous potential to change the education and life trajectories of low-income kids. In combination, they could do even more to import the odds for our nation’s most vulnerable youngsters. But current policy and practice in many states limit the ability of charter schools to offer state-funded pre-K programs,” notes the foreword to the study, Charter Schools and Pre-K: Where State Policies Create Barriers to Collaboration.
Among its findings:
- 13 states lack either charter laws or state pre-K programs
- 9 states have state laws interpreted as prohibiting charters from offering pre-K
- 35 states and the District of Columbia have both state-funded pre-K and charter laws. Of those, 32 have at least one charter school serving preschoolers.
The study also finds that (of 36 jurisdictions that offer both charter schools and pre-K):
- 7 jurisdictions are hospitable
- 16 states are somewhat hospitable
- 13 states are not hospitable
Charter Schools and Pre-K: Where State Policies Create Barriers to Collaboration is now available to download at http://edexcellence.net/CharterPreK.
Where the practice is permitted, charters still face all sorts of barriers, including meager pre-K funding (and/or district monopoly of funds), woefully small programs, and restrictions on new providers. Charter schools are often barred from automatically enrolling pre-K students into their kindergarten programs without first subjecting them to a lottery.
Authors Sara Mead and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel, as well as Michael Petrilli, the President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, are available to comment on the report.