Advocacy

Background on Early Childhood Education

Young elementary school students sitting on floor in rows singing

Houston ISD/Dave Einsel: http://www.houstonisd.org

NSBA Works to Raise Awareness About the Importance of Early Childhood Education

Research proves that quality early childhood education programs can help:

  • improve children’s school readiness; and
  • close achievement gaps that exist among children even before they enter school.

Research also finds that children who participate in high-quality programs:

  • demonstrate greater interest in learning;
  • are less likely to repeat a grade;
  • are less likely to require special education classes; and
  • are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.

States have recognized the benefits of early childhood education. As many as 40 states fund preschool for three- and four-year-olds. However, recent fiscal conditions threaten to derail some of this progress.

NSBA Supports Pre-K Education

From 2006 to 2011, NSBA and its Center for Public Education collaborated with Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States, to engage school boards in support of high-quality, voluntary prekindergarten education.

As a legacy to these accomplishments, NSBA and its Center for Public Education administered The Pre-K Coalition through funding from the Pew Center on the States. It brought together the most influential national education organizations to develop common goals for pre-k policy and raise awareness about the importance of early learning.

The coalition developed consensus policy statements and recommendations on a number of key early education issues to inform federal policy and legislation 

Why is Federal Action Necessary?

  • The U.S. Department of Education currently spends less than 1 percent of its total budget on preschool education.
  • Access to publicly funded pre-k programs is uneven. Eleven states do not offer any publicly funded pre-k education.
  • Compared to other developed countries, the United States invests fewer resources in preschool programs.

See NSBA's position on early childhood education for more about what you can do to advocate for quality pre-k programs.

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